Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Photo Finish

Editorial - April 29th, 2008 - The Wall Street Journal

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that states can mandate photo identification at the polls without violating the Constitution. The ruling in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board is a big deal, and not merely because it continues a welcome trend on the Court of deferring to elected bodies.

The 6-3 opinion, which upheld an Indiana photo ID requirement, does a public service by debunking the notion that voter fraud is a myth concocted by right-wing partisans.

For the record, only David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer dissented. The vote was 6 to 3. This was not one of those rulings where politics controlled as even the extremely liberal John Paul Stevens concurred. Even more surprising, Stevens wrote the majority opinion.

It would be truly revolutionary if this signalled a return to Justices interpreting the law, rather than making law. The tendency to want to be the total power in our land is not likely dead. However with so many criticisms that I make of our courts, I cannot avoid giving credit when the ruling seems to be appropriate.

I am surprised.


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