Pennsylvania high court orders review of voter ID decision

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a 4-2 decision, has ordered the state’s Commonwealth Court to review its decision upholding the state’s controversial voter ID law, according to the Associated Press.

On Aug. 15, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. upheld the law, ruling in favor of the state’s Republican lawmakers in a 70-page opinion. The case now returns to him, with orders to re-examine his decision and issue an opinion by Oct. 2. If he finds that voters will have trouble procuring an acceptable form of photo ID or will be disenfranchised, the law will be halted and will not be in effect for the November election. If he finds that neither of these things will occur, his original decision will stand.

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In his original decision, Simpson wrote that the plaintiffs, including the American Civil Liberties Union, had not demonstrated that voter disenfranchisement was “immediate or inevitable,” The Hill previously reported.

The law was passed in the Pennsylvania legislature without a single vote from Democrats, and signed into law by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in March. Defenders say the law is necessary to combat fraud and protect the principle of one-person, one-vote. Detractors charge that it will lead to suppression of the elderly and minorities, two groups that are said to have the most difficulty obtaining valid forms of ID.