State Court Of Appeals Upholds State Voter ID Law

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Tennessee Court of Appeals, acting in a Memphis case, has upheld the constitutionality of the state's controversial law that requires voters to display a photo ID.

However, the appeals court overturned two other rulings by Chancellor Carol McCoy.

She had ruled the law constitutional, but said two people who cast provisional ballots in the August election did not have standing to bring the suit. She said a photo card was the Memphis Public Law but was not valid for voting.

The appeals court said the two voters did have standing.

It was also ruled that the library card was sufficient.

The ruling can be read here and here.

Representative Debra Maggart (R—Hendersonville), who authored the voter ID requirement in Tennessee, released the following statement on Thursday’s decision:
“While I am encouraged our law was ruled constitutional, the fact the Court decided to add to it is disappointing.
“Since 2006, this legislation has been a priority of mine. I have worked with my colleagues to develop a law that is both constitutional and narrow in scope that protects the integrity of the ballot box here in Tennessee.
“Not only has the Court gone beyond the clear intent of the law by allowing library cards, it has also created an exception for the city of Memphis that falls below the standard for the rest of Tennessee. This is the definition of ‘legislating from the bench’ and, frankly, is unacceptable.

“Tennesseans overwhelmingly support a common sense photo identification requirement that ensures the person issued the ID is, in fact, a citizen of Tennessee. Since the library system is not equipped to verify an individual’s legal status, the Court has purposefully undermined the will of Tennesseans with today’s decision.”

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney responded to the Tennessee Court of Appeals decision on Twitter. He said, "In its infinite wisdom legislating from the bench, the Tennessee Appeals Court has added library cards to Voter ID Law. What's next - Sam's card?"


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