State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Corbett leans against appealing voter ID to Supreme Court: "they punted once"

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Oct 3, 2012 10:36 PM

CorbettVoterID.JPGGov. Corbett says he doesn’t agree with a judge’s ruling to block the implementation of voter ID in the upcoming election, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to appeal it, hanging his hopes on the state’s highest court.

On the Radio PA program “Ask the Governor,” Corbett said he’s puzzled Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson had any concerns people wouldn’t be able to get ID before November, given that the law’s been on the books since March.

“I don’t agree with the decision but I abide by the decision,” said Corbett. “I’ve been a lawyer over 35 years so I understand that when a court rules, a court rules.”

But the governor has been on the fence about whether the state will file an appeal to have the law fully enforced in November. Such a request would send the voter ID issue back into the laps of the state Supreme Court justices – again.

“The question is, if we appeal, is the Supreme Court going to do anything about it?” said Corbett. “The Supreme Court already – to my friends on the Supreme Court – they punted once in sending it [voter ID] back and if it goes back there, does it end up in a three-three vote?”

The Supreme Court is down a justice, who is suspended as she fights corruption charges. If the three remaining Republicans and three Democrats on the bench were to reach a split opinion on an appeal, the most recent ruling not to enforce the law in November would be affirmed.

The justices are meeting in mid-October in Pittsburgh. Challengers of the law say the court could hear any potential appeal then – just three weeks before the election.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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