By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A week after a state court judge refused to block Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, the Commonwealth responded to the ACLU’s request for a swift appeal, saying a hearing date in mid-October would be ideal.
When the ACLU appealed the state court’s decision last week, it asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear the case on an expedited basis, suggesting the court hear the case in Philadelphia during the week of September 10th. But in papers filed Tuesday, the state’s lawyers countered that a hearing in Pittsburgh during the week of October 15th would make more sense because the court will be hearing arguments on redistricting in September.
“That’s way too late,” says Vic Walczak, Legal Director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
He says a mid-October date would leave less than three weeks before the election.
“That would make it difficult, if not impossible for county elections boards to adjust their procedures, if that’s necessary,” he says. “That would also mean there is no certainty for voters, until that time. And people won’t know whether they need to go to that extra mile to get the ID.”
Walczak says he expects the court to decide on a hearing date quickly, possibly later this week.