State House Sound Bites

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

Corbett mulling next move on voter ID

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jan 22, 2014 6:54 PM
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Days after a state judge struck down Pennsylvania voter identification law, Gov. Corbett says he's not sure whether his administration will appeal the ruling.

The law was passed at the urging of the Corbett administration by the Republican-controlled Legislature, over protests from Democrats. Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley rejected the law in a ruling released Friday, calling voter ID unconstitutional based in part on its flawed implementation and its foundation on a "vague concern" of voter fraud.

Sources involved in the voter ID court case and in the law's passage suggest it's odd that the governor hasn't said he'll appeal the ruling. In the months since the summer trial in Commonwealth Court, challengers have always said an appeal to the state Supreme Court is expected, no matter the contents of the ruling.

Corbett plainly disagrees with McGinley's opinion. "I view that the law was constitutional. I view that it can be implemented constitutionally," said the governor Wednesday. "The judge made a finding: 'no.' We'll see if he can reconsider it. If he doesn't, then we'll consider if we should take it up on appeal."

Asking for reconsideration is described by many as a largely procedural move. Corbett said his team is also considering getting a review of the legal arguments before all the judges of Commonwealth Court.

"We're probably going to file post-trial motions and at the same time have discussions, further discussions, with our lawyers and with the Legislature, to see what their feelings are on it," Corbett said. Spokespeople with the Republican caucuses of the House and Senate said Wednesday that the governor's staff has not been in contact yet about the voter ID ruling.

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