Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Friday, February 10
Ruling on Georgia ID Case
In a one-page order, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals today sent the Georgia photo ID case back the federal district court. It did so at the request plaintiffs in the case, which include Common Cause and the League of Women Voters. The Eleventh Circuit's order says "this case is fully remanded for such further proceedings in light of the enactment of SB 84 on January 26, 2006." That's the new photo ID bill, discussed here, which was enacted after the old one was enjoined by the federal district court in October. At some point, the district court will presumably take up the question of whether the new ID bill, passed last month, has the same constitutional problems as the old one, although the court denied plaintiffs' request for a status conference to discuss the implications of the new law, saying that the request was "premature." That's presumably because the Department of Justice hasn't precleared Georgia's new ID law yet -- though there's not much doubt that it will do so despite the fact that the bill can be expected to have a disparate impact on African-American voters. The Eleventh Circuit's order expressly leaves it up to the district court to determine what, if any action to take pending DOJ's determination on preclearance, saying that that decision is "within the sound discretion of the able and experienced district court judge."

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University