Yesterday, by a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court upheld the state of Indiana’s requirement that voters present photo identification before voting. Which Justice broke ranks with the four-member liberal bloc to conclude what common sense dictates — that the law is “amply justified by the valid interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process?”
The answer is: Justice Stevens, who wrote an opinion in which Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy joined. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito signed a separate opinion reaching the same result but expressing less receptiveness to future challenges by voters claiming they were adversely affected by this type of law.
In recent opinions, Stevens has tended to draw explicitly on personal experience and observation from his nearly 90-year life, e.g., prohibition. Thus, it is quite plausible to believe, as John Fund does, that Stevens’ experience in Chicago during the regime of Mayor Daley, a master of voting fraud, may have contributed to his vote in this case. Fund also draws an interesting comparison between Stevens’ view of voting fraud and that of fellow Illinois man Barack Obama.
Fund and Byron York are correct that the Supreme Court’s decision confirms the outrageous nature of the Senate Democrats’ attack on Hans von Spakovsky. These Dems, led by Ted Kennedy and Obama, have blocked von Spakovsky’s permanent appointment to the FEC on the grounds that, while in the Justice Department, he argued in favor of the requirement that the Supreme Court has now upheld. But the farcical nature of this attack, and the bad faith of the career bureaucrats who fueled it, has long been evident.