The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered a lower court on Tuesday to reconsider its decision upholding a new state voter ID law, saying it should be blocked if voters would be shut out this Election Day by hurdles to obtaining ID cards.
The court battle over the law passed last March by the Republican-led legislature in Pennsylvania, considered a key swing state in the upcoming presidential election, is being watched closely on both local and national levels.
The Supreme Court's ruling sends the issue back to Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, who must reconsider his earlier decision to allow the law to go forward. He is due to rule by Oct 2.
Supporters of the voter ID law say it is aimed at ensuring that only those legally eligible to vote cast ballots. Critics say it is designed to keep minority voters, who typically vote Democratic, away from the polls.
The law mandates that all voters show either a state driver's license, government employee ID or a state non-driver ID card to vote, including in the November 6 presidential election. Similar legal battles are under way in Texas and South Carolina.
Shorter PA Supreme Court: "You might want to reconsider that whole constitutional thing." Needless to say, if Judge Simpson doesn't stick a fork in this thing, the PA Supremes appear to be making the very loud argument that they will block this law cold if it comes back without an injunction.
It's good news. Hopefully this law will be dead within a couple of weeks.