This week, the Supreme Court added 17 more cases to the 26 it has already agreed to hear during its upcoming term, which starts on Monday, October 1. Among the newly-added cases is one that is likely to have far-reaching consequences on the abllity of many Americans to be able to go to the polls on election day and cast a vote. The case, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, is a challenge to the constitutionality of Indiana’s voter ID law, which requires voters to show a current, government-issued photo identification at the polls in order to be allowed to vote, allegedly to combat voter fraud.
In a 2-1 ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the law, rejecting claims that it imposes an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote. In a majority opinion written by Judge Richard Posner (a Reagan appointee) and joined by Judge Diane Sykes (a George W. Bush appointee), the court was dismissive of the notion that requiring current photo IDs is an undue burden on certain groups of voters, particularly lower income voters. Judge Terence Evans (a Clinton appointee) dissented, bluntly stating “Let’s not beat around the bush: The Indiana voter photo ID law is a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic.” Evans noted that “no one — in the history of Indiana — had ever been charged” with the crime of voter fraud.