Election Law Expert Discusses Supreme Court Case on Voter ID Law

Election Law Expert Discusses Supreme Court Case on Voter ID Law
Press contact:
James O’Neill 212-854-1584 Cell: 646-596-2935
September 25, 2007 (NEW YORK) – Columbia Law School Professor Nathaniel Persily, an expert on election law, is available to discuss the Supreme Court’s announcement today that it will hear arguments in an Indiana case over whether voter-identification laws act as an unfair barrier to prevent low-income people and minorities from voting.
Nathaniel Persily, Professor of Law, can be reached on his cell phone at 917-570-3223 or by e-mail at [email protected].
``The Supreme Court's decision to take the Indiana voter identification case (Crawford v. Marion County) is a welcome development at a time when the constitituional status of such laws as we approach the 2008 elections is in doubt,’’ Persily said. ``The issues involved in the case are very important: how much fraud does a state need to show before it can pass a restrictive voter identification law? Can a state both liberalize absentee voting and restrict in-person voting as a measure to combat fraud? How many people must be disenfranchised by a photo I.D. law before a state violates the constitutionally protected right to vote? Does it make a difference if such a law is favored only by legislators from one party?
``More important than the particular decision in this case, the Court has an opportunity to clarify the law so that states know what types of I.D. requirements are constitutionally permissible,’’ Persily said. ``At the same time, if recent election law precedent is any guide, the Court may delivered a very splintered decision that will only add to the ambiguity in this area.’’
Nathaniel Persily, an expert on voting rights, election law, constitutional law, and American politics, has been a court-appointed expert for redistricting cases in Georgia, Maryland and New York, and has served as an expert witness or outside counsel in similar cases in California and Florida. He has an upcoming book on the Supreme Court.
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