Liberal judicial activism re: voter ID law

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Russ Jones (

A judge recently decided to not affirm Pennsylvania's new voter ID law -- a move some legal experts call reckless.

Pennsylvania's law, passed earlier this year by state legislators and signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett (R), would have required in-person voters to present one of eight different acceptable forms of identification to vote in all upcoming elections. The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) contends Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson's recent decision is further proof of liberal judicial activism.

Cooper, Horace (Project 21)"The ruling demonstrated even on its face that it wasn't about the law; it was about convenience and public pressure," states Horace Cooper, adjunct fellow with the NCPPR and co-chairman of the Project 21 National Advisory Board.

"As former President Bush might say, Judge Simpson was for voter ID before he was against it."

Cooper further claims that the proper way to change law is through state legislatures who have the power to alter policies -- not by trumping up charges left for judges to interpret.

"This group of critics made charges that this law was somehow racist and … anti-elderly -- a whole host of claims, none of which they've ever been able to get substantiated," the NCPPR chairman notes. "Now they shift when they went to the state Supreme Court to this Oh, well, we just don't have enough time to roll this out."

Under pressure from the state's Supreme Court, Simpson suspended the law until 2013, lacking confidence that the state would be able to provide IDs to those who needed them before the November election.

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