November 1, 2014

Van Hollen disappointed with Supreme Court

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is voicing disappointment over a state Supreme Court decision on voter ID. “With a case of this significance, and with time being of the essence, and with both courts of appeal certifying the case forward to the Supreme Court, I was extraordinarily surprised that they didn’t take the case,” said Van Hollen. “I was certainly surprised, but also disappointed.”

Two Dane County judges had issued separate injunctions stopping the photo ID requirement in cases brought by the League of Women Voters and the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP. Van Hollen’s Department of Justice appealed both of those decisions, with the court of appeals asking the state Supreme Court to directly hear both cases. In separate one-page orders released Monday, the Supreme Court denied those requests. The justices did not explain their decision to not take up either of the two legal challenges to the ID requirement, sending both back to the appeals court level. “We painstakingly reviewed this bill before it became law, so I’m confident that we’re ultimately going to prevail,” said Van Hollen.

As to when that might happen Van Hollen said the worst case scenario would be adverse decisions in either challenge – or a process which drags on for months or even a year before an eventual Supreme Court decision. Meanwhile, one of the challenges is being heard this week before a Dane County Judge.