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
Thursday, July 13
Court Orders Against Georgia ID Law
U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy yesterday issued a verbal order from the bench, enjoining enforcement of Georgia's 2006 law requiring voters to show photo identification. The case is Common Cause/Georgia v. Billups, and the AP has this report and the Atlanta Journal Constitution this one. After a five-plus hour hearing, Judge Murphy reportedly found that the law discriminates against those who lack government-issued photo ID. In October of last year, Judge Murphy had issued an injunction against a previous version of Georgia's photo ID law, as described here. That prompted Georgia lawmakers to pass a new version of the law at the start of this year's legislative session.

Yesterday's federal court order follows a temporary restraining order issued by a state court in Fulton County last week in Lake v. Perdue. Judge Melvin Westmoreland found that the 2006 voter ID law places a "restrictive condition on the right of a citizen to vote" in violation of the Georgia Constitution. Judge Westmoreland's order prevents the state from enforcing the voter ID law in next week's primary as well as any run-offs. Also yesterday, the Georgia Supreme Court denied the state's motion to stay the state court order.

What this means is that there are two court orders now in effect against Georgia's 2006 photo ID law. The federal court order is reportedly broader, since it includes the November election and any runoffs, and not just the primary.

Update: The federal court's 194-page preliminary injunction order may be found here.

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University