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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed today with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the case of Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, et al. v. Scott Walker, et al. a Petition to Bypass and Consolidate the two state court Voter ID cases, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network, Inc, et al. v. Scott Walker, et al., and Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, et al. v. Scott Walker, et al.
As the Petition itself states:
“Few cases which reach [the State Supreme] Court truly are of more statewide import or concern matters which more fundamentally impact all adult residents of the State. This declaratory judgment action involves the right to vote -- a right that belongs not to one side or political party, but to all qualified voters.”
Instead of having two appellate courts hear the separate cases and issue separate decisions, the Petition asks the State Supreme Court to take jurisdiction of the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, et al. v. Scott Walker, et al. case from the Court of Appeals and to consolidate the case with the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network, Inc, et al. v. Scott Walker, et al. case, which also is pending in the Court of Appeals, so as to expedite both cases and have one single oral argument before the State Supreme Court. This also would result in one final decision by the State Supreme Court. Regardless of whether the State Supreme Court grants the Petition to Bypass, it is more than likely that both matters will ultimately be resolved by that Court.
Attorney General Van Hollen, who believes the law is constitutional, said, “The Voter ID law was enjoined by two different courts and is now in two different appellate courts. These cases present important questions of constitutional law that we feel are appropriately resolved by the Supreme Court. Today's petition, if granted, will enable the Supreme Court to consider these cases at the same time.”
The Department of Justice has twice previously sought expedited review of these cases. In late September, the Supreme Court denied the most recent motions to consolidate these actions, bypass the Court of Appeals, and stay the injunctions against the Voter ID law because initial briefing was not yet complete in one of the cases. The respondents filed their brief earlier this week.
Van Hollen continued, “We made every effort to resolve this matter as expeditiously as possible, before the Spring General Election, before the Recall Elections, and before the Fall Elections. We are continuing to aggressively defend what represents the will of the people of Wisconsin and do so on a basis that enables a resolution before the next set of elections.”
For further history of these cases, please see the news release from August 21, 2012, at the following link:
A copy of the Petition is available at the following link: