The recent move by North Carolina Republicans to approve a “Voter ID” law has spurred demands by opponents of the law for it to be challenged in court; but as you read stories about such legal battles, remember that there is a fairly recent U.S. Supreme Court decision which found Voter ID laws to be constitutional.
It’s only been five years since the Court upheld a Voter ID law in Indiana, with former Justice John Paul Stevens – the leader of the Court’s liberal wing at the time – writing the majority opinion in favor of Indiana’s Voter ID statute.
“In sum, on the basis of the record that has been made in this litigation, we cannot conclude that the statute imposes “excessively burdensome requirements” on any class of voters,” Stevens wrote in the decision, in which he was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts.
“There is no question about the legitimacy or importance of the State’s interest in counting only the votes of eligible voters,” the majority wrote.
The ruling also quoted the findings of a special federal commission on election reforms, that was chaired by former President Jimmy Carter, which endorsed the idea of photo ID for voting as well: