“This is the definition of 'legislating from the bench' and, frankly, is unacceptable,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Debra Maggart, snarled in a press release.
The GOP outrage is new evidence—if any is needed—of the party’s true goal in ramming this law through the legislature. That purpose mainly is to suppress the votes of black people, and especially the ones in Memphis who really annoy Republicans by actually running their city and taking their voting rights seriously. If they vote in large enough numbers, they can—and have—swung statewide elections for Democrats. And now they have managed to do an end-around the legislature, and they can hand out their own photo IDs for voting.
Does anyone think it would upset Maggart so much if the court was letting voters in, say, Ooltewah, use their library cards?
As for today’s decision on the law’s constitutionality, the plaintiffs' lawyers correctly argued it sets a dangerous precedent. The judges concluded it’s enough for Republicans to say the law is aimed at stopping voter fraud. They didn’t have to prove it. That’s something they can’t do, of course, because no such fraud exists. In so ruling, the court handed lawmakers carte blanche to restrict voting rights in just about any way they please for whatever reason they might concoct.