It’d intended to post a full recap of today’s Arkansas Supreme Court hearing, but time ran out.
My quick take: Because the Court was hearing an appeal of Circuit Judge Tim Fox’s May ruling, in which Fox limited the issue to a “facial” challenge — in other words, only to the question of whether the voter ID law violates Arkansas Constitution’s limits on voter rules — today’s oral arguments were relatively dull. They didn’t get into any of the discriminatory effects of the law.
AJ Kelly, representing the Secretary of State’s office (Attorney General Dustin McDaniel yielded his role representing the state to the secretary of state’s office), argued that the trial court didn’t have jurisdiction to issue a preliminary injunction and shouldn’t have ruled on a “facial” challenge. He also tried to argue that the voter ID law is merely a “verification,” not an additional “qualification to vote.” At least one Justice, Donald Corbin, seemed highly skeptical of that argument.
Jeff Priebe, a layer representing the ACLU and the Arkansas Public Law Center, said voting is a fundamental right like free speech and the right to practice religion. Just as those don’t require picture IDs for participation, neither should voting, he argued.
For fuller analysis, here’s Andrew DeMillo with the AP.