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Challenge to Pa. Voter ID Law Likely To Drag Beyond May 2013 Primary

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The parties to the Pennsylvania Voter ID case met today in Commonwealth Court in Philadelphia, for a status conference.

And the fight is far from over.

Commonwealth Court judge Robert Simpson today said he’s likely to hold a trial this summer to hear evidence on the constitutional challenge of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law.

“The problem then becomes what to do about the May primary,” notes ACLU legal director Vic Walczak, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.

Walczak says the court will likely schedule a hearing between now and May to determine whether to block the law for the primary.  He says that gives the court more time to make a final decision on the tough constitutional issues.

“It’s an important decision,” he says.  “It’s going to affect not just one election but tens of thousands — if not hundreds of thousands — of individuals.”

The Pennsylvania Department of State has said the law will remain in effect for the primary unless and until the court blocks it.

Judge Simpson is expected to issue a timeline for proceedings in the case within two weeks.


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