A three-judge panel rejected South Carolina’s request that it reinstate a state voter identification law for the 2012 elections. The law had been denied pre-clearance by the U.S. Department of Justice for violating the Voting Rights Act. Much like the recent Pennsylvania decision, the panel ruled that the law may go into effect after this year, but implementing it this close to the November elections would have potentially discriminatory effects on minority voters.
In addition to blocking the law for 2012, the opinion also notably ruled in future elections, voters will not be required to show a photo ID. “Voters with the non-photo voter registration card that sufficed to vote under preexisting law may still vote without a photo ID,” the panel wrote, “Those voters simply must sign an affidavit at the polling place and list the reason that they have not obtained a photo ID. The unanimous opinion was written by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a prominent conservative judge viewed as a likely potential Supreme Court pick in a Republican administration.