Daniel Denvir has an interesting report on today’s Voter ID arguments at the PA Supreme Court:
Democratic justices hammered government lawyers defending the law, questioning the impact on voters and why the state could not wait until after the election to implement it. But the court is evenly split between the two parties (Republican Justice Joan Orie Melvin faces corruption charges and is suspended) and a 3-3 ruling will uphold the lower court judge who refused to issue an injunction. Everyone is watching to see if one or two Republicans, particularly Chief Justice Ron Castille and Justice Thomas Saylor, will join the court’s Democrats to block the law’s implementation.
Earlier this year, Castille voted with Democrats to strike down a Republican-drawn redistricting plan.
Castille was quiet during oral arguments today, but Saylor expressed strong concerns that the state is not automatically issuing PennDOT IDs as required by the law, which stipulates that someone unable to prove his or her identity can receive a PennDOT ID by signing an affidavit. It turned out that PennDOT cannot issue IDs to such people because doing so would render all PennDOT identification “insecure” for purposes such as boarding an airplane. In response, the Department of State recently began issuing “voter-only” IDs, which are not specifically mentioned in the law.
“You can’t comply with the letter of the law, is that what you’re saying?” Saylor asked government lawyers.
I’m not so optimistic that there’ll be an injunction, but Daylin seems to think it’ll happen.