In a somewhat unexpected move today, the conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court denied expedited review to a pair of trail court decisions blocking that state’s Voter ID law, despite the fact that two courts of appeals asked the justices to take the cases right away. Although this decision says nothing about how the Wisconsin justices view the voter ID law, their decision not to fast track the case increases the likelihood that the fate of the state’s voter ID law will not be decided until after Gov. Scott Walker (R) faces a recall election on June 5th.
If there is no further action on Wisconsin voter ID until after the recall election, that will be a serious blow to Walker’s efforts to save his job. Voter ID laws disproportionately disenfranchise minorities, low-income voters, students and other groups that tend to vote for Democrats, and thus Wisconsin’s law will boost Walker and other Republicans within that state if it is allowed to go into effect. In March, however, one of the judges who ruled against the voter ID law also held that the law could not be enforced while it is on appeal. Thus, unless this order is reversed by a higher court, Walker will not benefit from voter ID’s disenfranchisement of left-leaning demographics.