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Voter Id Law

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NEWS
August 17, 2012 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer
THERE WERE TWO ways a state judge could have dealt with a legal challenge to Pennsylvania's controversial new voter-ID law. The route that Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson took Wednesday made all the difference: He rejected a bid to block the law from being used in the Nov. 6 general election. He could have applied "strict scrutiny," which would require that he consider the narrow question of whether the law affects the fundamental right of some people to vote. Instead, Simpson used a "substantial degree of deference" to one of the three branches of the state government, the Republican-controlled General Assembly that passed the law in March.
NEWS
August 2, 2013
At the end of its three-week courtroom defense of Pennsylvania's flawed voter-identification law, the Corbett administration's best hopes have dwindled to convincing a judge that it's somehow OK to risk barring 89,000 registered voters from the polls. Given such a flimsy legal case - and the startling prospect of disenfranchising so many voters - tossing the voter-ID law should be a slam-dunk. The trial, set to wrap up today before Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley, revealed that the law could bar far more otherwise legal voters than Harrisburg election officials are willing to concede - all in the name of quashing a virtually nonexistent form of voter fraud.
NEWS
July 30, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court should throw out the state's specious voter-ID law, or at least issue an injunction that recognizes there's no way that the state can provide the required credentials for hundreds of thousands of voters in time for the Nov. 6 election. That temporary step might buy the Corbett administration time, but it would in no way mitigate the obvious: that the ID law is nothing less than a political dirty trick aimed at tilting the playing field in favor of one party over another.
NEWS
July 3, 2012
Pennsylvania's new voter-ID requirements threaten to disenfranchise a significant number of Asian Americans, particularly immigrant citizens without a solid command of English, leaders of several Asian American support groups alleged at a news conference Monday. Glenn D. Magpantay, an official with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said immigrants might struggle with the Department of Transportation's application for a nondriver photo-ID card, one of the forms of identification people would have to show election officials to vote in November.
NEWS
August 17, 2012
IN DECIDING not to grant an injunction to block implementation of Pennsylvania's unfair voter-ID law, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. gave "substantial deference to the judgment of the Legislature" to regulate elections, even if some had partisan political motives in enacting the law. As to the heavy burden that the law places on individuals trying to exercise their fundamental right to vote? That doesn't matter as much. It is an interpretation of the law that is reasonable but wrong.
NEWS
July 12, 2012 | John Baer
YOU CAN actually feel the impact of the state's new voter-ID law coming. I don't mean whether it's successful in fighting fraud, as Republican leaders claim, or whether it's successful in allowing Mitt Romney to win the state, as one Republican leader claims.   I mean in the sense that it's starting to look like a Republican overreach that could end up benefiting Democrats. It's starting to jump the shark. Thanks largely to House GOP Leader Mike Turzai saying last month that the law will help Republican Romney, we have ongoing national attention.
NEWS
January 19, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A judge on Friday struck down Pennsylvania's controversial voter identification law, ending for the moment a two-year legal fight between defenders who saw it as a shield against fraud and critics who deemed it an act of voter suppression. In his 103-page ruling, Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley concluded that the 2012 law placed an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote and created insurmountable obstacles for hundreds of thousands of people, many of them elderly and disabled.
NEWS
July 18, 2012 | By Angela Couloumbis and Clara Ritger, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
HARRISBURG - The legal and political dispute over Pennsylvania's voter identification law showed every sign of widening into a brawl Wednesday. Civil liberties groups suing to upend the law contended in court briefs that as many as a million or more Pennsylvanians don't have the types of photo ID the law requires in order to vote in this fall's presidential election. They also claimed the state had fueled suspicion of partisan motives by conceding it cannot pinpoint a single instance of the type of voter-impersonation fraud the law aims to prevent.
NEWS
August 31, 2012
A three-judge federal panel in Washington unanimously ruled that the law imposes "strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor" and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty. A3.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 23, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Staff Writer
Gov. Wolf, who has called for state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to resign, made clear on Sunday whom he would like to see next hold that post. Wolf endorsed Montgomery County Commission Chairman Josh Shapiro for the April 26 Democratic primary election, saying he is "a proven reformer who will restore integrity to Harrisburg, and he is the best choice to be our next attorney general. " Kane is awaiting trial in Montgomery County on perjury and other charges, accused of leaking secret grand-jury materials to the Philadelphia Daily News.
NEWS
April 25, 2015 | By Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia City Commissioner Stephanie Singer's name will not appear on the May 19 primary election ballot, Commonwealth Court ruled Thursday. The court rejected Singer's appeal of a Common Pleas Court ruling March 30 striking her name from the ballot. Singer needed at least 1,000 signatures from registered Democrats on nomination petitions to be listed on the ballot. She filed 1,485 but a review during a legal challenge found that just 996 were valid. That left her four names short in her bid for a second four-year term.
NEWS
June 5, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
  It may not surprise many people in Philadelphia-area politics that Zack Stalberg is leaving the helm of the Committee of Seventy to live out a Western fantasy. The 67-year-old former newspaper editor who took over the nonprofit watchdog group in 2005 has been a kind of ethics sheriff ever since. Stalberg announced Tuesday that he would step down as chief executive of the Committee of Seventy later this month. It is his second retirement and likely not his last. He and his wife are moving to New Mexico, where Stalberg hopes to ride horses and land a non-government-related job. "I want to do something that's different, that gets me outdoors," the former editor of the Philadelphia Daily News said Thursday.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | By Chris Brennan
FOR THE third time in three weeks, Gov. Corbett has surrendered on a controversial public policy that new Democratic nominee Tom Wolf could have used as a potent point of political attack. Coincidence? Or an example of an incumbent candidate moving to the middle of the political spectrum just as the general-election campaign begins in earnest? Corbett on Wednesday said he will not appeal a ruling by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III that struck down the state's 1996 ban on same-sex marriage.
NEWS
May 14, 2014
After two years and $7 million in wasted taxpayer-funded advertising costs and legal fees, Pennsylvania's embarrassing and discriminatory voter-ID law has finally been buried by a wise court ruling. But like a gambler caught up in a losing streak, Gov. Corbett can't bring himself to just walk away. Instead, he sends mixed signals. He said Thursday that he won't appeal the Commonwealth Court ruling in January, which is good. But, apparently to appease his radical-right buddies, he also said he wants to retool the law. Fortunately, Harrisburg Republicans have an election to worry about and are in no mood to revive this modern cousin of the poll taxes once used to discourage certain people from voting.
NEWS
May 10, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Corbett dropped his battle Thursday to keep intact the two-year-old law requiring Pennsylvanians to show a state-approved photo ID before voting. In a statement, Corbett said he would not ask the state Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling that declared the law unconstitutional. But the governor defended its intent and said his administration would work with the legislature to make the necessary changes for the law to pass judicial muster. "A photo identification requirement is a sensible and reasonable measure for the commonwealth to reassure the public that everyone who votes is registered and eligible to cast a ballot," he said.
NEWS
May 6, 2014
THE WORDING was polite but the message was clear. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey wrote Gov. Corbett last week urging him to give up trying to implement the state's Voter ID Law. This dog of a law, first passed in 2012, has never fully taken effect, mostly due to court challenges to its strict requirements that voters show a photo ID before being allowed to vote. In January, Commonwealth Judge Bernard McGinley ruled the law unconstitutional, saying that it could deny the right to vote to several hundred thousand Pennsylvania who did not have access to the approved IDs. The state asked McGinley to reconsider his decision.
NEWS
January 29, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lawyers for Gov. Corbett on Monday asked the Commonwealth Court judge who struck down the state's voter ID law this month to reconsider his ruling. The 39-page filing allows the Corbett administration to keep alive its appeal hopes, but Joshua Maus, a spokesman for the Governor's Office of General Counsel, said, "It would be premature to say whether we would move forward with an appeal. " The posttrial motion argues that Judge Bernard L. McGinley made numerous errors in reaching his decision that the law, one of the strictest in the nation, was unconstitutional.
NEWS
January 23, 2014
IF THE LEGISLATURE and the courts spent as much time and effort on Pennsylvania's real problems as they have over the issue of voter ID, this state would be far, far better off. The law had a foul smell to it even when it passed in 2012. The law, billed as an anti-fraud measure, required all voters to show a photo ID before being allowed to vote. It has yet to go into effect because opponents sued in the courts and the judges in charge of the case delayed it. As testimony about the bill piled up, the odor just got worse.
NEWS
January 20, 2014
In tossing out Pennsylvania's oppressive voter-ID law, Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley stated the obvious: "Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID Law does not further this goal. " Before the law was passed in March 2012, voters were already required to provide proof of residency, and poll workers were allowed to request ID if they doubted anyone's qualifications. But that didn't stop Republican legislators and Gov. Corbett from enacting one of the nation's most restrictive voter-ID laws.
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