- 17th District
- Daylin’s Issues
Leach Cautiously Optimistic About Supreme Court Voter ID Ruling
On September 18, 2012
HARRISBURG, September 18, 2012 – State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) reacted to today’s Supreme Court decision on the Voter ID law, in which the court sent the case back to the Commonwealth Court for reconsideration. The Supreme Court ruled 4-2 in its decision, and urged the presiding judge to enjoin the law, though two dissenting justices argued that the court should have blocked the law.
Leach said that while the court’s opinion was encouraging, he agreed with the dissenting view that Pennsylvanians would not have enough time to obtain identification with the election fewer than 50 days away. He also questioned whether the Department of Transportation would be able to fulfill all of its requests within that limited time frame.
“I find much to like in the opinion,” he said. “First, the court said that a facial challenge to the law may be sustained even if the law could be constitutionally applied in the future, and that the best course of action would be to enjoin the law until the constitutional problems melt away. This is very encouraging.”
He noted that the court offered a vague ruling on how the Commonwealth must proceed with helping Pennsylvanians to obtain identification. “Does the state just have to show it is trying?” he asked. “Or is there some number of people without IDs above which the court would find unacceptable? It is unclear from the opinion.”
He continued, “I was also very encouraged that the court required the Commonwealth Court to enjoin the law if it found that the state’s efforts to get IDs to people were insufficient. That is very important. The only correct course of action is to enjoin the law for this election cycle and give the state more time to get everyone the IDs they need. It appears that this is the direction that the Supreme Court, cautiously, is heading.”
Earlier this summer, Leach introduced S.B. 1586, which would repeal Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law. He argued that the law would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters who do not have the proper identification now needed to vote. Recent reports have indicated that 11 percent of people in the United States, including 25 percent of African Americans, 340,000 senior citizens and 20 percent of young people do not currently have a valid photo ID.