Senate leader: No time for special session on voter ID - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Senate leader: No time for special session on voter ID

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says there's no time to call a special session of the state legislature and pass a voter identification law that could be in effect before the November election.

A federal judge issued a ruling earlier this week that strikes down the law passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker in 2011. But a legal challenge had put the law on hold since 2012. Meanwhile, two cases are pending in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in addition to the federal lawsuit.

The law requires voters to show a state-issued photo ID at the polls.

For the law to be in effect for November, the state Supreme Court would have to rule it doesn't violate the state constitution, and the federal court decision would have to be overturned on appeal.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman is issuing his ruling on Tuesday said he would expedite review of any new law passed by the Legislature, but he also cast doubt that it would be constitutional.

"Given the evidence presented at trial showing that Blacks and Latinos are more likely than whites to lack an ID, it is difficult to see how an amendment to the photo ID requirement could remove its disproportionate racial impact and discriminatory result," Adelman wrote.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told the Wisconsin State Journal in a story published Thursday the court ruling leaves little room for the Legislature to act.

"It's not going to be resolved for the November election," Fitzgerald added.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said on a conservative radio talk show Wednesday that he still would like the Legislature to convene this year to take up a revised voter ID bill, though he fears it would still be tangled up in the courts come Election Day.

The state Department of Justice is appealing Judge Adelman's ruling.

Walker has said he's confident the law will be upheld on appeal, but he also told the State Journal there was little hope changing the law would satisfy Adelman, a former Democratic state senator. Adelman ruled that the law violated not only the U.S. Constitution but also the federal Voting Rights Act.

Walker and other supporters of voter ID legislation argue it will cut back on cases of voter fraud.

In his ruling, Judge Adelman noted a lack of proof of voter fraud cases in Wisconsin.

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