by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A federal appeals court on Tuesday issued an opinion saying that Virginia’s voter identification law is constitutional and does not violate the Voting Rights Act.
In the unanimous opinion issued by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court affirmed that Virginia’s voter identification law “does not sweep away all election rules that result in a disparity in the convenience of voting.” Under Virginia’s elections laws, “every registered voter in Virginia has the full ability to vote when Election Day arrives,” the court continued.
The lawsuit against Virginia’s voter identification law was filed in early 2015 and was dismissed in May. The plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of the law by alleging that it violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and disproportionally hurt minority voters.
The challenge was initially brought forth as part of a multi-state legal effort challenging state voter ID laws implemented by Republican-controlled legislatures leading up to the 2016 elections. It was bankrolled by millions of dollars from liberal billionaire George Soros.
Marc Elias, a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based Perkins Coie law firm, who was also Hillary Clinton’s top campaign lawyer, was behind the challenges.
“Voter ID is a common sense measure to protect the integrity of our elections. The court was right to throw this case out,” said J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, an Indiana-based election integrity group. “It’s a shame civil rights groups are wasting so much donor money to block a law most people like and that stops nobody from voting.”