Pennsylvania judge refuses to block voter ID law

In another big victory against vote fraud, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson has refused to block a law requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls.

Check out the ridiculously biased lead paragraph from the Associated Press story: ???A Pennsylvania judge on Wednesday refused to stop a tough new voter identification law from going into effect, which Democrats say will suppress votes among President Barack Obama???s supporters.???

You don???t hear anything about what supporters of the law say until a single sentence in the fourth paragraph, which is immediately countered: ???Republicans defend the law as necessary to protect the integrity of the election. But Democrats say the law will make it harder for the elderly, minorities, the poor and college students to vote, as part of a partisan scheme to help the Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, beat Democratic Obama.???

Way down at the end of the piece, readers learn that ???the state is planning to begin issuing a special photo ID card for registered voters who are unable to get a PennDOT-issued ID and lack any other photo ID that is acceptable under the law, such as a passport or active-duty military ID,??? and also beginning a large-scale P.R. campaign to make sure citizens understand the law.  Why, those scheming, disenfranchising monsters.

The remainder of the article is entirely concerned with relaying complaints from critics of the law.  The only person quoted in the story is ACLU laywer Witold J. Walczak, who vowed, ???We???re not done, it???s not over.  It???s why they make appeals courts.???

Thus is the impression created that this judge must be some sort of blind fool or partisan operative, to allow such a patently obvious outrage to remain in effect.  (In fact, the article makes a point of noting that Judge Simpson is a Republican.)  Why, Pennsylvania is going to ask voters to show the same kind of ID they???re expected to present when they purchase beer!  Can???t everyone see how that???s racism?

Here???s another howler from the AP story: ???The original rationale in Pennsylvania???s Republican-controlled Legislature for the law – to prevent election fraud – played little role in the case before Simpson since the state???s lawyers acknowledged that they are ???not aware of any incidents of in person voter fraud.???  Instead, they insisted that lawmakers properly exercised their latitude to make election-related laws when they chose to require voters to show widely available forms of photo identification.???

In other words, our legal system does not cease to function simply because liberals don???t like the results.  It???s the same old Catch-22 argument vote fraud defenders love to fall back on: we can???t detect and punish fraudulent voters, because that???s racism; and since we can???t march any convicted fraudsters before the camera, we can???t institute common-sense procedures to detect them.

At any rate, it looks like there will be no temporary injunction blocking the law, but appeals will be filed, and Eric Holder???s Justice Department ??? which has been very active in blocking sensible voter identification laws ??? is still mulling over an intervention.

Update: Horace Cooper, adjunct fellow of the National Center for Public Policy Research, hailed the Pennsylvania decision: “Once again critics of Voter ID lost in court over a legal claim that they knew or should have known was invalid. Today the district court in PA ruled that opponents of Voter ID were wrong to claim that Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law was unlawful and should be enjoined. The court recognized that Pennsylvania acted within its authority to prevent voter fraud and we’re confident this fall the commonsense requirement for Voter ID will be in full effect on election day.”

Cooper went on to say that “the argument put forward by the Left was so weak it didn’t meet the lower threshold necessary even to grant an injunction.”

“The Pennsylvania standard for an injunction is similar to the federal standard,” Cooper explained.  “The plaintiff ‘must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits [i.e., win at trial], that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.’ In this case, the arguments put forward by the ACLU and other critics of voter ID were not likely to prevail on the merits and demonstrated no irreparable harm, and so the judge recognized that granted relief was not in the public interest. This is a devastating critique of the arguments of the opponents of Voter ID in Pennsylvania.”