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Penn. Judge Indicates Voter ID Law May Be Blocked

Common Dreams staff

A Pennsylvania judge has indicated the state's controversial voter ID law may be blocked.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. told lawyers on Tuesday, "I think it's a possibility there could be an injunction here," after hearing testimony on whether some voters would be disenfranchised.

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the lower court to revisit its decision in the controversial voter ID law, which voting rights advocates have said would have disenfranchised as many as 750,000.

That ruling stated:

The court is to consider whether the procedures being used for deployment of the cards comport with the requirement of liberal access which the General Assembly attached to the issuance of PennDOT identification cards. If they do not, or if the Commonwealth Court is not still convinced in its predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement arising out of the Commonwealth’s implementation of a voter identification requirement for purposes of the upcoming election, that court is obliged to enter a preliminary injunction. [emphasis ours]

Accordingly, the order of the Commonwealth Court is VACATED, and the matter is returned to the Commonwealth Court for further proceedings consistent with this Order. The Commonwealth Court is to file its supplemental opinion on or before October 2, 2012.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that both sides will be back in court on Thursday "to present arguments on what such an injunction should look like."

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