Supreme Court upholds Indiana’s voter identification law; lawyers’ group disappointed

WASHINGTON, DC — The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued a statement today expressing disappointment that the Supreme Court rejected a facial, constitutional challenge to Indiana’s voter identification law in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board. However, the Lawyers’ Committee notes that the Supreme Court left the door open for future constitutional challenges to voter identification laws.

“We remain committed to ensuring that laws which restrict the ballot to traditionally disfranchised voters without any evidence of in-person voter fraud will not go unchallenged,” stated Jon Greenbaum, director of the Lawyers’ Committee’s Voting Rights Project. “This is not the end of our fight to ensure that elections are open to all eligible citizens.”

The Supreme Court found that a voter identification law may place such a burden on groups of disadvantaged voters that the law would be unconstitutional, but that the plaintiffs fell short in developing their evidence of how the Indiana law burdened voters. Greenbaum cautioned that “state legislatures considering voting restrictions must consider the effect of those restrictions on minority, elderly, poor, disabled and homeless voters before enacting them.”

Unfortunately, during this primary season in its administration of the Election Protection program, the Lawyers’ Committee has already seen instances of the purpose of voter identification requirements being misunderstood by poll workers or applied in a discriminatory manner.

As part of its mission to protect and uphold the rights of traditionally disenfranchised voters, the Lawyers’ Committee will continue to combat unnecessarily restrictive voting laws, including photo identification and proof of citizenship requirements.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of housing, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice. For more information about the LCCRUL, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

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