When the Justice Department pointed out that many minorities have not yet signed up for free photo IDs, Kavanaugh responded that the state’s law wasn’t in effect yet, so there is no reason for anyone lacking ID to register for one.
Possibly tipping his hat, Kavanaugh said that while South Carolina’s case was “ambiguous around the margins,” the state had effectively answered the court regarding “everything core” in the law.
Perhaps the biggest surprise occurred when Bartolomucci — without prompting from the judges — appeared to question the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.
“If Section 5 [of the Voting Rights Act] is indeed constitutional as applied to this law, the standard of proof cannot be an impossible burden,” Bartolomucci asserted.
The accusation that the Voting Rights Act imposes impossible burdens on states has been leveled before. When the same federal court rejected Texas’s voter ID law in August, The Daily Caller News Foundation heard the same critique of the law from Michael Carvin, a veteran voting rights lawyer and partner at the law firm Jones Day.
“Section 5 is plainly unconstitutional, because it places the impossible burden on covered jurisdictions to prove the un-provable even in order to protect the basic integrity of their own voting systems,” Carvin said.
The court will likely rule on the case in roughly a month.
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