The Wisconsin state court said last week that Scott Walker’s voter suppression law was okay as long as Wisconsin somehow figures out “administratively” how to turn it into something other than a poll tax. Free birth certificates for everyone I guess!
This is from Justin Levitt writing at Election Law Blog. I did not know this was also a myth:
“The Wisconsin Supreme Court also claimed that “photo identification is now required . . . to board a commercially operated airline flight.” The only problem with that statement is that — despite endless repetition in the last few years — it is still flatly not true.
I should know: in 2011, I flew to DC to testify about voter ID rules, without any photo ID in my wallet. Exactly as regulations permit, I got on the plane just fine. It wasn’t a fluke — it was precisely what the law required.
Proponents of restrictive ID laws often fall back on the argument that a government-ID requirement for voting is reasonable, because having an ID is a purported necessity in modern life. You have to have an ID to board a plane, they say. It’s a curious example they choose.
The first problem is that the example is irrelevant. Voting is at the heart of our constitutional order, guaranteed to every eligible citizen. Boarding a plane is a nice perk. The republic doesn’t crumble if the people don’t fly on planes.
But the example is also dead wrong. Actually, you don’t have to have an ID to board a plane. I proved this firsthand, when I had the opportunity to testify before a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee just over one year ago, on the propriety of voter ID laws. As recounted here in an ACS brief, when I got to Los Angeles airport, I had no photo ID in my wallet, government-issued or otherwise. Instead, I had two credit cards, a firing range card, a health insurance card, a blood donor card, a coffee shop frequent visitor card, and a few business cards, all without photos. I was also carrying a checkbook.
The TSA officer at the airport check-in station examined my boarding pass, and asked me to step aside for additional questions; another officer reviewed my other paperwork, and asked a bit more. I was then asked to step through the (regular) security line, where my bags were screened, and a backscatter image was taken. I estimate that the procedure lasted approximately ten minutes longer than the normal procedure experienced by individuals in the same line who had photo identification on hand.
After clearing security, I enjoyed a beer in the airport Chili’s — without using photo ID. When I arrived in Washington, DC, I checked into my hotel — without using photo ID. I then made my way to the Dirksen Senate office building, and to the Committee’s hearing room — without using photo ID. Commercial vendors and federal governments alike have demonstrated that when it is financially or politically important to extend access even to citizens without certain photo identification, such citizens can be accommodated with minimal disruption to normal business practices.
Since my trip, I’ve often been asked whether my experience was a fluke, or a parlor trick. It was, emphatically, neither. It was policy — for years, the TSA and its predecessor agencies have consistently maintained a policy making sure that they can accommodate those without particular government-issued photo identification.
You may discuss why our learned judges believed this for all these years and never checked, or anything else you want to talk about.