Today, in Crawford v. Marion County Voting Board, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected a constitutional challenge to Indiana's new photo ID requirement for voting. Writing for himself and Judge Diane Sykes, Judge Richard Posner held that the photo ID requirment did not impose an undue burden on the right to vote, even though the law would deter some individuals from voting, and even assuming that the law would have disproportionate effects on voters of one party.
In ananlyzing the statute, Posner rejected strict scrutiny, observing:
The Indiana law is not like a poll tax, where on one side is the right to vote and on the other side the state's interest in defraying the cost of elections or in limiting the franchise to people who really care about voting or in excluding poor people or in discouraging people who are black. The purpose of the Indiana law is to reduce voting fraud, and voting fraud impairs the right of legitimate voters to vote by diluting their votes — dilution being recognized to be an impairment of the right to vote.According to the majority, the law represents a reasonable regulation designed to balance the right to vote with the state's interest in reducing the likelihood of voter fraud.
Judge Evans dissented:
Let's not beat around the bush: The Indiana voter photo ID law is a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic. We should subject this law to strict scrutiny—or at least, in the wake of Burdick v. Takushi, . . . something akin to "strict scrutiny light" — and strike it down as an undue burden on the fundamental right to vote.
UPDATE: I neglected to add that both opinions are short and worth reading in full. This was a high-powered panel addressing an important issue.
I've also fixed the link above, or try this one.