Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Do you have a Photo ID?

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Check your wallet.

Think, where do you need to show photo ID's?

1) You need them to go into nightclubs.
2) You need them to open bank accounts and when you write checks at supermarkets.
3) Want to get a drink? Show a photo ID.
4) Fly on a plane? Take a bus or a train? Show your photo ID.
5) Applying for a job?
6) How about renting a hotel room?

Today, before the U.S. Supreme Court is the case Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita. The transcript is here.

My question is this: If we need ID's for all those things above, why not to vote? With all the problems of Illegal immigrants taking social security numbers, do you really believe your vote is sacrosanct? If no one can identify you, why should your vote count?


  1. It surprises me that attorneys for the Democractic Party did not include an argument for the implicit extension of the legislative intent and rationale for Twenty-Fourth Amendment to include a prohibition that disallows the use of photo identification in a manner designed to abridge or deny the rights of those who are legally entitled to vote.

    The Court I think is unlikely to be swayed by an arguement based soley on the first amendment and the fourteenth amendment because several states possess photo id requirements to vote and it has generally been held that the voting regulations are within the province of the States given the decision and holding of the Court
    in BURDICK v. TAKUSHI, 504 U.S. 428 (1992)

    It is beyond cavil that "voting is of the most fundamental significance under our constitutional structure." Illinois Bd. of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party, 440 U.S. 173, 184 (1979). It does not follow, however, that the right to vote in any manner and the right to associate for political purposes through the ballot are absolute. Munro v. Socialist Workers Party, 479 U.S. 189, 193 (1986). The Constitution provides that States may prescribe "[t]he Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives," Art. I, 4, cl. 1, and the Court therefore has recognized that States retain the power to regulate their own elections. Sugarman v. Dougall, 413 U.S. 634, 647 (1973); Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut, 479 U.S. 208, 217 (1986). Common sense, as well as constitutional law, compels the conclusion that government must play an active role in structuring elections; "as a practical matter, there must be a substantial regulation of elections if they are to be fair and honest and if some sort of order, rather than chaos, is to accompany the democratic processes." Storer v. Brown, 415 U.S. 724, 730 (1974).

    Election laws will invariably impose some burden upon individual voters. Each provision of a code, "whether it governs the registration and qualifications of voters, the selection and eligibility of candidates, or the voting process itself, inevitably affects - at least to some degree - the individual's right to vote and his right to associate with others for political ends." Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780, 788 (1983). Consequently, to subject every voting regulation to strict scrutiny and to require that the regulation be narrowly tailored to advance a compelling state interest, as petitioner suggests, would tie the hands of States seeking to assure that elections are operated equitably and efficiently. See Brief for Petitioner 32-37. Accordingly, the mere fact that a State's system "creates barriers . . . tending to limit the field of candidates from which voters might choose . . . does not of itself compel close scrutiny." Bullock v. Carter, [504 U.S. 428, 434] 405 U.S. 134, 143 (1972); Anderson, supra, at 788; McDonald v. Board of Election Comm'rs of Chicago, 394 U.S. 802 (1969).

    Instead, as the full Court agreed in Anderson, supra, at 788-789; id., at 808, 817 (REHNQUIST, J., dissenting), a more flexible standard applies. A court considering a challenge to a state election law must weigh "the character and magnitude of the asserted injury to the rights protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments that the plaintiff seeks to vindicate" against "the precise interests put forward by the State as justifications for the burden imposed by its rule," taking into consideration "the extent to which those interests make it necessary to burden the plaintiff's rights." Id., at 789; Tashjian, supra, at 213-214.

    Under this standard, the rigorousness of our inquiry into the propriety of a state election law depends upon the extent to which a challenged regulation burdens First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Thus, as we have recognized when those rights are subjected to "severe" restrictions, the regulation must be "narrowly drawn to advance a state interest of compelling importance." Norman v. Reed, 502 U.S. 279, 289 (1992). But when a state election law provision imposes only "reasonable, nondiscriminatory restrictions" upon the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of voters, "the State's important regulatory interests are generally sufficient to justify" the restrictions. Anderson, supra, at 788; see also id., at 788-789, n. 9.
    We apply this standard in considering petitioner's challenge to Hawaii's ban on write-in ballots. BURDICK v. TAKUSHI, 504 U.S. 428 (1992)

  2. Well, Chess Novice looks like he's on the case!

    It used to bother me, the idea of having to show ID to vote (happened once in Santa Barbara, to the outcry of local activists and the media). But if states can set the times, places, and manner of holding elections, let the rule of federalism prevail.

    Might work to continue a tough-on-immigration agenda, in any case.

    Take care!

  3. Anonymous11:54 AM PST

    What is the big deal here? Photo id for voter registration is a no-brainer. This myth that the poor not being able to afford it is not true. Even if you don't drive, an id card costs $15 to process. You need only register once. If you can't manage to rub three fives together, obviously you don't have the intellect to make an informed decision. If you are not a citizen, you should not be allowed to vote. I can't go to Mexico and vote. Quid pro quo.

  4. I have no problem with the use of photo ids.

    I was merely postulating an alternative approach to the arguments propounded in the briefs submitted by the Democratic Party and their alllies because, the arguments propounded by the parties are the traditional approcahes anticipated by the Court as an institution would be more likely to consider a case involving such a strategem rather a challenge involving the First and Fourteenth Amendments given the fact that the standard of proof has long been established for such direct challenges. Conversely, a challenge based on the strategy I proposed has not been adjudicated nor has standard of proff ever been established for challennges made under the Twenty-Fourth Amendment.

  5. After long and hard consideration on this topic, I've decided that I am against having to show ID at the polls, if only for the reason that that position annoys conservatives. Of course it's not a conclusion based on logic or common sense, but when it comes to politics, why use logic or common sense? I can just say that I'm against this because there are mean conservatives on message boards who want people who think like me dead and they have called me a commie. Wow, it's awfully liberating to shrug off the rules of logic! I should do this more often.


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