A state judge on Wednesday refused to block Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID law. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson’s 70-page order wasn’t yet available on the court’s website, but a docket entry noted that the law would not be enjoined.
Simpson did not rule on the case’s merits, only on whether it could be enjoined. Opponents of the law are expected to appeal to the state’s Supreme Court.
“We’re not done, it’s not over,” Witold J. Walczak, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who helped argue the case, told the Associated Press. “It’s why they make appeals courts.”
The law is expected to have a heavier impact on elderly voters and voters inurban areas. The state has already given a contract to a Republican lobbying company to educate voters about the law. One top Republican in Pennsylvania said the voter ID law would help Mitt Romney win the state.
The law will have the biggest impact in Philadelphia, according to the facts presented at trial. It will of course be very difficult for volunteer democracy enthusiasts to inform Pennsylvania voters on one of the most restrictive voting laws in the country given such a short window. The Governor and his appointed top election official have outsourced voter education efforts to a Romney bundler, so there’s no help there, obviously.
Really, really disappointing news, but I once heard a Latino voting rights activist speak, and she had a glass-half-full view of the current Republican efforts to suppress the Latino vote in Texas. She said when someone tries to take something away from you, it often becomes more important.