DOJ asks Court of Appeals to stay injunction against state voter ID law
Matt Montgomery & WTMJ News Team
MADISON- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced Monday afternoon the Department of Justice has asked the Court of Appeals, District II, to stay the injunction against the State's voter ID law that entered on March 6, 2012, in Dane County Circuit Court, in Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, et al. v. Walker, et al., Dane County Case No. 11 CV 5492, according to the Department of Justice.
"It is my hope that this matter is concluded expeditiously. Continued uncertainty surrounding the conduct of elections represents the potential for irreparable harm to electors and the franchise. An injunction is intended to avoid an irreparable harm. This stay request contends that because the state should prevail on appeal, the injunction is more likely to result in greater harms not contemplated in the injunction," Attorney General Van Hollen said.
The DOJ filed a motion to stay circuit court proceedings and filed a petition for leave to appeal.
The order from the Court of Appeals declined to stay the proceedings in circuit court without hearing first from the plaintiffs/respondents, reasoning that there is sufficient time before the scheduled April 16 trial to solicit such a response.
The order directs plaintiffs/respondents to respond by March 20 both to DOJ's motion for a stay of proceedings and to DOJ's petition for the court of appeals to review the circuit court's decision.
Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan granted the injunction earlier this month which temporarily stopped the law from taking effect for the state's April 3 presidential primary election.
The NAACP's Milwaukee branch and immigration rights group Voces de la Frontera filed the lawsuit last year.
Governor Walker's Press Secretary Cullen Werwie had issued a statement about the Dane County judge's temporarily injunction against the voter ID law when the ruling was made:
Requiring photo identification to vote is common sense-we require it to get a library card, cold medicine, and public assistance. Governor Walker looks forward to implementing common sense reforms that protect the electoral process and increases citizens' confidence in the results of our elections.
Rep. Jeff Stone (R) Greendale, the bill's sponsor issued this statement at the time of the judge's ruling:
We're disappointed with what the Judge has ruled. We trust the Department of Justice will take the necessary steps to challenge temporary injunction. We've worked on this for 10 years. We believe it's a good bill. At the end of the day, Wisconsin will have photo IDs. It will just take a little longer.