Was Daniels right about the Court of Appeals?

June 30, 2010
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Gov. Mitch Daniels blasted the state Court of Appeals last year when it unanimously struck down Indiana’s 2005 law requiring photo identification in order to vote. Daniels called the 3-0 decision “an act of judicial arrogance,” saying, "The Legislature had every right to write that law. This decision will be a footnote to history,"

The Court of Appeals decision may indeed become a footnote, now that the state Supreme Court upheld the statute 4-1 today. Click here the story.

The League of Women Voters originally brought the case into the court of Marion Superior Judge S.K. Reid, who tossed it out. The league then took Reid’s decision to the appeals court and got the decision Daniels criticized.

Before the league appealed Reid's decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in a separate case brought by state Rep. Bill Crawford, D-Indianapolis.

Today, state Supreme Court Justice Brent Dickson noted that no one has challenged the law as preventing or inhibiting them from voting. However, he added that the decision wouldn’t prevent someone from claiming such a charge in the future.

The court also said the law didn’t qualify voters. And then there was that little matter of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

So, the appellate court’s decision was rammed back down its throat.

How do you feel about Daniels’ view that the appellate decision was nakedly partisan?

The law was passed by a Republican-controlled Legislature and Republican governor, and the three appellate judges were appointed by former Democratic governors Evan Bayh and Frank O’Bannon. The only state Supreme Court justice dissenting today was Ted Boehm, who was appointed by Bayh. Those backing the law included two named by Democrats and two appointed by Republicans.

What about the broader question of confidence in the courts? To what extent are judges and justices influenced by their personal philosophies and political leanings?

  • Why is this even questioned
    To me, the whole point of requiring identification is just common sense and has absolutely nothing to do with politics. It's a no-brainer.

    There are multiple areas in life where things about you need to be validated. When you buy alcohol or cigarettes your age must be checked. When you drive a care or pilot plane, you have to have a license. The same should go for when you vote. If you drive, then it should mean nothing to you as there's no inconvenience as you already have ID. Even if you don't drive, you should alway have an ID. Duh!!

    This law does help to reduce the likelihood for voter fraud and ensures fairness for every candidate. So, I'm all for it.

    For those who oppose, I think that you may be just one of those types of people who might be book smart, but have no common sense or you just like to create controversy and drama to fill a void in your life.

    Good job, Indiana!
  • Supreme Court is 100% Correct
    This is clearly the proper ruling on a law that had previously been upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States at the federal level.

    I want my vote to truly count. I want the votes of all who have the right to LEGALLY vote to count. This honors the country's founders, ourselves, and future generations.

    The right to vote is a very precious one. And those rights are made a mockery of when fraudulent voting by felons, dead people, illegals and others who may not legally vote are used to "create" the outcomes desired by those who work in the shadows of politics.

    No case, not one, of voter disenfranchisement as the result of this law was presented as evidence to support the claim of harm to any legal voter. To claim that any honorable person is harmed by this law is, quite simply, a lie.

    The only people who believe that this is a poor ruling are those who had hoped to gain or maintain power illegitimately.

    Thank you, Supreme Court of the State of Indiana!
  • Missing the point
    I personally do not object to showing an ID when I go to vote. I feel the appeals court was correct in overturning the law, as it definitely is not applied equally to all eligible voters.

    However, I think the main point in all this is being missed. The most likely place for voter fraud is the absentee ballot, not the voters at the polling booth. How is the identification of an absentee voter verified? In history Indiana has never had a case of voter fraud, so I think the whole ID thing is blow out of proportion.

    In my opinion Indiana has bigger problems to worry about than showing an ID card at the polls. It is really a shame that everything that is discussed/voted upon by our State Senators and Representatives is all about politics instead of what is good for the people of Indiana. Unfortunately, this also applies to our federal lawmakers. Whatever happened to civility, good honest discussion and compromise to achieve what is best for the people as a whole????? All we hear now is arguing and name calling.
  • Frequent Flyer
    Gee, if you object to showing a valid ID when you vote, guess you really have a problem with the airlines. Try buying a ticket, getting through security and getting on an airplane without a valid ID. Next, someone will file suit over having to have a valid driver's license to drive on our highways. Maybe they will file suit because a bank requested an ID before they would give them a credit card. Most things we do in life require some sort of valid identification. Did you ever notice that you have to have a valid ID (social security number) before you can work. Go figure.
  • "Jamming"
    Since when has the vulgarism "jamming down the throat" become commonplace? It is no more acceptable than using rape or "sticking", if you get my drift, as a metaphor. IBJ--please keep your language standards high.

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