Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law Struck Down

Good news on a Friday, for once. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

HARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania judge has found the state’s voter ID law unconstitutional.

According to the ruling from Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley, the requirement to present an acceptable form of identification when voting in person “unreasonably burdens the right to vote.”…

A group of state Senate Democrats hailed the ruling as a victory for fair elections and said they hoped the Corbett administration would not fight the decision through appeals.

“They’ve gone beyond where they already should have gone on this in terms of using resources,” said Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills. “They shouldn’t spend another penny on this.”…

In his ruling, Judge McGinley wrote that the law poses “a substantial threat” to hundreds of thousands of qualified voters.

“Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID Law does not further this goal,” the decision reads…

From Dave Weigel, who was reporting on this during the last election:

Pennsylvania’s commonwealth court has found the photo requirement of the 2012 voter ID law “invalid and unconstitutional on its face.” So, a total victory for the plaintiffs, a collection of people who lacked proof of identity, defended by civil liberties groups. “The only fraud uncovered in this case is the ID law itself,” crowed Witold Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, “which is exposed as a voter suppression tool adopted to game elections.”…

It’s not all bad for defenders of the law. Really, it isn’t—as Rick Hasen first spotted, the judgment excuses GOP leader Mike Turzai’s extremely ill-advised brag that the law would help win Pennsylvania for Romney. “The House Majority Leader’s unfortunate comments notwithstanding,” writes Judge Bernard McGinley, “there is no evidence that the purpose behind the Voter ID Law was to disenfrancise minorities or persons who, along party lines, may be more inclined to vote for Democratic candidates.” That undermines an argument that had been taken from Pennsylvania onto the airwaves of MSNBC, that’s not bad for the state as it looks to rescue the law at the next level, the state Supreme Court.

52 replies
  1. 1
    Yatsuno says:

    It probably will not go into effect until after the 2014 election at this rate, which is a good thing. There’s a turd in the governour’s chair that needs to be extracted. A shovel and bleach ain’t gonna cut it.

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    Oh, Newsmax:

    FEMA May Be Hoarding Emergency Food Supplies

    An agency tasked with emergency management may be keeping large supplies of emergency food on hand? Next astounding headline on Newsmax: Editors Discover That Water Is Wet!

  3. 3
    Gene108 says:

    AG Kathleen Kane is a Democrat. If Corbett appeals the AG’s office may not support the governor.

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Earlier today, someone linked to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette‘s comments, and the first one out of the block was teatard stupidity. The first response to that comment was basically “idiot, the vetting is done in the registration process.” I doubt the teatard comprehended this. The proof of widespread electoral fraud is obvious… a ni*CLANG* “won” the last two presidential elections.

  5. 5
    Yatsuno says:

    @Gene108: That could be fun. She really has no incentive to appeal the decision and Corbett really has no way of forcing her to do it. I wonder if they can hire an outside attorney to represent the appeal. If not, this thing is deader than Generalissimo Franco.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    The only more obvious alternate headline is “Newsmax editors discover that they are cretinous douchecanoes”

  7. 7
    Trollhattan says:


    “Every auto found to hold a significant quantity of explosive fluid!”

  8. 8
    dmsilev says:

    @Mnemosyne: Just for giggles, I clicked on the link. It’s actually a video ad for ‘Food4Patriots’ which appears to be selling caches of long-storage-life food to prepare for upcoming apocalypse.


    But don’t worry, I’m gonna keep our food out of FEMA’s hands. In fact, read this and I’ll show you how you can get our highest quality Food4Patriots survival food at “fire sale” prices… as low as $1.39 per serving… but only if you act fast.
    But before I reveal the details on claiming your personal food package there’s something I need you to do.
    Promise to keep this information to yourself and your close family and friends ONLY. We don’t want this forwarded on in a chain letter or announced to big groups.

    Remember, this is between you, me, and all of us. Don’t tell anyone else…

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Have your credit card ready! Operators are standing by!

  10. 10
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    When I first looked at the P-G article, the first comment was about whether this result could be used as a precedent in litigation to overturn the requirement to show ID before buying alcohol. Not sure which is funnier.

  11. 11
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: BREAKING! Massive Stocks of Armaments Discovered at Army Base Behind Locked Doors: Deliberately Kept out of the hands of Patriotic 2nd Amendment Civilians and Toddlers.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Reading further down,

    Grain shortages will drive bread to $10, $25, even $100 per loaf. Heck in Germany after World War One, a loaf of bread cost 3 BILLION marks…

    Also, I think I’m screwed:

    And if word gets out that you talked I reserve the right to let someone else claim YOUR package. We’ve recorded your computer address so be warned.

  13. 13
    scav says:

    @dmsilev: Is their very next rant about the tyrannical overreach of the NSA, with a side swipe at the big business robber barons at Le Target and Neiman Markups?

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    And if word gets out that you talked I reserve the right to let someone else claim YOUR package. We’ve recorded your computer address so be warned.

    The stupid. It BURNS!

  15. 15
    jl says:

    @dmsilev: No longlife Dystopia Bread for you, buddy

  16. 16
    dmsilev says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The stupid. It BURNS!

    I believe there’s One Weird Trick which can help with that.

  17. 17
    Poopyman says:

    I probably should wait for an Open Thread, but I may not be around later, but I found this article at Fidelity* to be interesting – and possibly important – for a couple of reasons.

    BOSTON (Reuters) – A cybercrime firm says it has uncovered at least six ongoing attacks at U.S. merchants whose credit card processing systems are infected with the same type of malicious software used to steal data from Target Corp.

    BlackPOS was developed by a hacker whose nickname is “Ree4” and who is now about 17 years old and living in St. Petersburg, Russia, according to Los Angeles-based IntelCrawler.
    The teenager sold the malicious software to cybercriminals who then launched attacks on merchants, said Komarov, who has been monitoring Ree4’s activities since March.

    When I was 17 I spent my free time playing football in the back yard, not trying to engage in international criminal activities – and succeeding.

    (* – It’s really from Reuters,)

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Yeah, the comments there are pretty strange in the format, so it’s hard to tell what the “first” comment was if you’re not there right at the start.

    Still, plenty of comedy gold there to be mined and converted into bit-player-coin.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Is that the same one weird trick that will cause Scarlett Johansson to show up at my door and do at least two things: enlarge my male member to Ron Jeremy sizes, and then she throws herself at me, shredding my belt, pants, and briefs in the process, even though the rest of me is pretty Ron Jeremy already?

    If so, I’m in!

  21. 21
    Poopyman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: So you’re telling us you have a porn ‘stache over a shit-eating grin?

  22. 22
    shelly says:



  23. 23
    Gene108 says:


    When I was 17 I was desperately trying to get laid.

  24. 24
    MomSense says:



    It is comments like these that make me love this crazy place.

  25. 25


    I believe there’s One Weird Trick which can help with that.

    Not clicking on NewsMAX links is hardly a weird trick.

  26. 26
    Yatsuno says:

    @MomSense: That was quite beautimous I must say. I love the clever folk that hang around these parts that’s for sure.

  27. 27
    Poopyman says:

    @Gene108: Well, that too, but I was such a failure I didn’t mention it.

  28. 28
    Calouste says:

    So “Freedom” Industries that just spoilt the drinking water for 300,000 West Virginians has filed for bankruptcy (they own taxes to the IRS going back to at least 2000). Allegedly, one of its founders had done jail time for tax evasion, as well as being convicted for selling cocaine.

  29. 29
    MomSense says:


    The problem is I will make references with non B-J people and they just look at me like I’m crazy. I sometimes try to explain but that confuses them even more.

    How are you doing, btw? I hope your rehab is going well!

  30. 30
    gelfling545 says:

    @Calouste: See, this is why it’s better to leave everything in the hands of the private sector because they do a so much better job at handling our resources. Or something.

  31. 31
    Yatsuno says:

    @Calouste: How DARE we burden our sacred jerb kreatorz with crushing taxes and horrific regulations? This would never have happened if we had just appointed Rand Paul with his hair weasel as his running mate. Then we would haz FREEDUMB from DROOOOONEZ (unless you commit a felony) and jerbs would flow like manna from Heaven. Or something.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:


    As I said to riykrah in the thread below, I’m guessing they transferred all of the company’s assets to another division before they even picked up the phone to report the leak.

    I say, if the company is bankrupt, then the company’s executives can put on orange vests and spend 40 hours a week working on the clean-up until it’s done. I’ll even let them have lunch breaks and sick days.

  33. 33
    dmsilev says:

    @MomSense: One Weird Trick is something that you can refer to with anyone who reads just about anything on the web. For reasons which undoubtedly make sense to _someone_, that particular phrase is absolutely everywhere in cheapo ads these days.

  34. 34
    MomSense says:


    Yes, that one you can. I even used it with my 10 year old helping him with his algebra homework but other things–not so much.

  35. 35

    I am shocked, shocked that the same company that cut every corner it could think of when it came to safety is also a scofflaw when it comes to taxes.

  36. 36
    Jebediah, RBG says:


    If not, this thing is deader than Generalissimo Franco.

    Is he still dead?

  37. 37
    Yatsuno says:

    @MomSense: I just got beat up today in fact. He’s pretty happy with the progress so far and can’t wait until I can put my full weight on the left side. Then we can really work on strengthening the left leg (which was weaker for other reasons) and getting that ready for the right leg to get done in about 6-8 months. It’ll probably be closer to 8 but we’ll see how that rolls.

  38. 38
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: As Clean up crew? I hear there might be some biological filter and human-toxicity warning positions opening up that could provide them with some ready cash they could contribute towards working off their financial obligations.

  39. 39
    just one more canuck on a phone says:

    Mnemosyne @32

    And they can drink all the water they want

  40. 40
    MomSense says:


    And if he’s happy with the progress that means you have been working hard. I remember when I went through major rehab–some days I was just soooo tired and all I wanted was to try to find a comfortable position so I could sleep. I wish you didn’t have to go through all of this–and again in 8 months but I’m happy to hear you are making progress.

  41. 41
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: I just looked at the photos you linked to in a thread earlier today or yesterday. They just blew me away. I was simply mesmerized. Wow.

  42. 42
    MomSense says:


    Aren’t they wonderful?! I think Ash Can linked to the photographer’s website with even more photos. I loved the bunny and baby chick photos–but “the big friend” just blew me away. He reminds me of my childhood dog.

    The light in the photos is just beautiful.

  43. 43
    Ghayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    Sparrows on a curtain rod?

  44. 44
    Yatsuno says:

    @MomSense: I had one moment of “Why the fuck did I do this to myself” in the rehab unit, but it passed when I could move the left leg AND IT DIDN’T FUCKING HURT. There was other pain associated with it but that’s pretty much faded. I might be okay when the pain drugs run out this weekend, but we’ll see how that goes. I think I’ll be okay. :)

  45. 45
    Punchy says:

    This shit will be appealed. Didn’t the knuckle draggers in the SCOTUS OK this via Joe Diebold v. Indiana a few years back? Won’t Scalia affirm the State equal to that of a corporation, which has a right to fire its voters and hire new GOP ones instead?

  46. 46
    Mike E says:

    I call people (mostly sympathetic) whom I recruit to phone up local leaders and espouse renewable energy initiatives that are, frankly, kicking ass here in my state. Every now and again I get a hold of pro-drilling/fracking err, crank:
    Me-“…and let them know that the petroleum economic model is a poor fit for our state…”

    Crank-“Says who, people like you who are against it, or the people who do it for a living?”

    Me-“Geologists, oil and gas people. They tell me to a person that it’s not worth it here, there’s really no incentive to do it in this state.”

    I go on about our solar sector boom and he tells me he’ll call to encourage it but still wants that bubbling crude too (which won’t happen in 10 years, if ever). It’s as if reason and outcomes are beside the point

  47. 47
    MomSense says:


    Oh, I know how you feel. Long story made very short–but I had to learn to walk again and the process was not without a few breakdowns and a lot of pain but I had been suffering with pain every day so even at my worst moments I felt like the end result would be worth it.

    The first time I climbed a mountain again (probably more like a hill!) I just started crying because it had been a much longer climb than just that one day. I found that creating a series of small, doable goals helped a lot. I didn’t get as anxious if I had lots of successes along the way.

    I know it sounds hokey, but I had to invent a little routine for myself–music plus meditation and breathing to prepare for the end of pain meds. I had gotten sort of dependent on taking them before using the passive motion machine–and the painful pt treatments. It really helped. Even now when I get a headache or feel sick, I go through my routine.

    I am pain free now and I pray the same for you. It makes a huge difference in my quality of life.

  48. 48
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    She really has no incentive to appeal the decision and Corbett really has no way of forcing her to do it.

    AGs get into iffy positions if they decide not to defend cases against the state, or make half-hearted efforts to do so. (Roy Cooper’s in a similar position in NC.) I wouldn’t want a GOP AG to shrug at a Dem governor or Dem-led legislature, and Dem AGs need to do their job, which includes defending the state even if they think a case is dumb.

  49. 49
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: I caught the link to all the photos, too. Amazing stuff, thanks so much for posting.

  50. 50
    geg6 says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    She’s already done it. Can’t remember exactly what the case was, but it was a pet Corbett issue and she told him go pound salt. She can do that if she wants. And she does. And I love her for it.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: There is a difference between defending the laws of the state and going hell bent for leather to fight for them. The AG could potentially look at the decision and decide that filing an appeal would be a waste of judicial resources. Failing to defend the law in a trial court would have been another matter.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    It’s tricky, though. Here in California, the state declined to defend the lawsuit to repeal Prop 8, in part because (IIRC) the state’s attorney’s felt it was not in fact legal to amend the state constitution in order to discriminate against a specific group, even if doing such a thing won a popular vote. What if the best legal minds of the state’s executive branch agree with the judicial branch that the legislative branch was wrong?

Comments are closed.