Elections Officials Appeal Part of TN Supreme Court Decision
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Despite the arguments three Tennessee Supreme Court judges upheld the voter identification law.
"The plaintiff's had said it was a burden on voting. The courts said no," Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "They said it was a violation of the equal protection clause, the court said no."
Still attorneys representing the city of Memphis can celebrate a small victory. The new Shelby County photo library cards are now considered a valid form of identification
"This strikes of balance between providing easier access and also ensuring that there's not fraud," James Blumstein, Vanderbilt University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law Policy said.
The law requires voters to present government issued photo identification at the polls. Plaintiff's argued that the city of Memphis was operating as a state agency, therefore allowing them to issue a state approved form of identification.
"Today we'll be filing an appeal with the Supreme Court regarding the library card portion of the decision where the court of appeals said the Memphis City library card was an acceptable form of ID for voting in Shelby County," Hargett said.
The concern, perhaps, is if valid identification can be issued by the city of Memphis then what's next? Blumstein says that was not the issue before the courts, but if concerns arise it could be addressed by the legislature in January.
"If the court gets the intent of the legislation wrong, the legislature can act and tell the court that it didn't get it right," he said. "This again I think is a closed case but I don't think it's a terrible outcome. Overall I think it will let a few people vote who were not able to get a state ID."
The Memphis City photo library cards are now being accepted. But the fight continues, with just eleven days until the election.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:04 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:04:23 GMT
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