Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"How to Predict a Voting Rights Decision"

Professor Rick Hasen has this valuable, if depressing, essay at Slate.com explaining how recent voting rights rulings have led him to this dour realization about the pending Texas voter ID case and the state of the federal judiciary:

I expect it will be resolved to let Texas use its ID law during the upcoming election.


My prediction is based on the same thing I used to predict that the trial judge would strike down Texas’ law: the ideology of the judge and the political party of the president nominating the judge.


It is sad in 2014 that this is a great predictor of how courts have decided these cases. But at least in the cases of North Carolina and Wisconsin, politics did not always predict Supreme Court justices’ decisions. Two Democrat-appointed justices (Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan) voted to stop the last-minute expansion of voting rights in North Carolina, and two Republican appointees (Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy) voted to stop the last-minute implementation of voter ID in Wisconsin.


Maybe there’s a glimmer of hope in that.


Election Law, Right to Vote, Voter ID | Permalink


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