Supremes Reject Challenge to Voter ID Law:

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a facial challenge to Indiana's voter ID law, 6-3 The judgment of the Court was announced by Justice Stevens (!), joined by the Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito concurred in the judgment. Justices Souter, Breyer and Ginsburg dissented. The opinions are here. I expect Rick Hasen will be rounding up analysis and commentary at the Election Law Blog.

UPDATE: Oops. Didn't see Eugene just beat me to it.

MORE: Here are some initial thoughts from Rick Hasen, Lyle Denniston, and the AP.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Justice Stevens and the Ghost of Mayor Daley:
  2. Supremes Reject Challenge to Voter ID Law:
Rich B. (mail):
One wonders about the internal opinion-awarding procedures.

It certainly seems that if if an opinion breaks down along "normal" lines, but with one Justice on the "wrong" side, that Justice gets the opinion.

A 5-4 decision with Stevens, Ginsberg, Breyer, Souter, of Scalia in the majority would almost certainly be written by Scalia.
4.28.2008 12:25pm
Rich B.--That sounds right. I think of it as the
"Nixon in Beijing" approach. No one was gonna call Dick Nixon soft on communism, thus making him the ideal candidate to soften things a bit. Similarly, we here in Indiana will here the claim that this law "disenfranchises minorities." Now we respond that "Stevens himself" wrote the decision, so that's just not possible. "Are you calling Stevens a closet racist?"

It's all about how you frame it, huh?
4.28.2008 12:32pm
Rich B. (mail):

That may be why Scalia wants Stevens to write the opinion. I was think about it from the other side, actually.

Let's say Stevens (in this case) is on the fence but leaning toward the majority position. He has some reservations, though, and wants to make clear that he isn't willing to go as far as maybe Thomas and Alito are, so he says he'll vote with them, but only if he can write the option and draft it narrowly.

In Congress, you hear arguments all the time along these lines. "Even Democrats like Joe Lieberman" (or "Even Republicans like Arlen Spector") are voting for the bill . . .

You might expect it less in the Supreme Court, but it seems like you don't, so I thought there might be a different motivation.
4.28.2008 12:46pm
Justin (mail):
Scalia, who didn't even join the opinion, probably had no role in assinging it to Judge Kennedy. More likely, i it was CJ Roberts who assigned it to Stevens. I'm somewhat surprised by the breakdown, btw - there are 6 votes open to the possibility of a legal challenge to voter ID laws, and I figured that if there was a 6th vote on that, it would be the judicial conservative Alito, rather than the judicial Conservative Roberts.
4.28.2008 1:46pm
This guy doesn't like it one bit.
4.28.2008 2:02pm
Smokey--Isn't that Cat Stevens?
4.28.2008 2:05pm
AKA: Yusuf Islam.
4.28.2008 5:31pm
The third time this year Stevens has joined with the Conservatives in a significant split decision. Medellin had the exact same lineup, and Baze was 7-2 with Justice Breyer also on board. Any thoughts on this?
4.29.2008 2:58am
davod (mail):
"The third time this year Stevens has joined with the Conservatives in a significant split decision."

Didn't those who put him on the court all those years ago think he was a consevative?
4.29.2008 7:59am