Helpful article by Dan Froomkin at HuffPost on the Pennsyvlania Supreme Court hearing today, about the state’s voter ID law. With a deadlocked head count of three Repubs and three DEMS, the fear has been that a tie vote will allow a lower court ruling to stand that upheld the onerous law (Froomkin points out that the lower court decision stood on racist precedent from the 19th century). However, he also reports there may be some hope for a bipartisan, fair judgment:
There are some hints that at least one Republican justice could break ranks. At the hearing, Justice Thomas Saylor, a Republican, asked the state’s lawyers whether the law guarantees every registered voter can cast a vote — a question they could only answer in the negative. The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board raised the possibility that Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ron Castille might ultimately side with the Democrats on this issue.
“[W]hile his brethren might rule along party lines, Castille has a history of flexing his independence,” the paper wrote. “Just eight months ago, it was Castille who distinguished himself in an otherwise partisan 4-3 ruling when the state Supreme Court threw out a redistricted legislative map designed to benefit the GOP.”
“Dan has long been one of my favorite news aggregators and commentators. I first got to know his work in the early 2000s, when he wrote and edited the must-read, “White House Watch” at washingtonpost.com. WHW was a daily news digest entirely made up of news about the Bush White House, with Dan’s pithy commentaries about the stories he selected for his readers. I used to wait avidly each day until mid-morning when each new column would appear online. If I had a lunch date I had run to, I would print out the pages and take them with me on the subway. This is Dan’s awesome archive of all the WHW columns he did, a valuable record for history in this age of amnesia–plus all the live chats he did–before his employment at the Post was ended in January 2009, one of the worst decisions, among many bad calls, that that newspaper made in the 2000s.
From the lede of Dan’s story today:
“The legal team fighting Pennsylvania’s restrictive new voter identification law asked the state’s Supreme Court on Thursday to at least postpone until after November the measure that could disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters, many of them minorities. ‘There’s too little time, there’s too many people affected and there’s no place in the statute that guarantees that qualified electors can get the ID they need to vote,’ said David P. Gersch, representing the American Civil Liberties Union and other public interest groups.”