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Tea Party Group: No Voter ID in 2012, No Retention in 2013

Races for judicial retention typically are among the most boring in the world. But one conservative group says it will contest Republican judges of the Pa. Supreme Court should they decide (eventually) to block the state’s new Voter ID law.

The Independence Hall Tea Party PAC, “warned today that it will organize to defeat Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Ron Castille, a Republican, and PA Supreme Court Justice Max Baer, a Democrat, in their respective 2013 retention races, if Voter ID is not implemented in the November, 2012 General Election,” the group wrote in a press release.

“If Judge Simpson does not uphold the law, we will ask Governor Tom Corbett to appeal the case back to the PA Supreme Court,” said PAC President Don Adams. “Bottom line, if this law is not upheld, we will hold Justices Castille and Baer accountable in their 2013 retention election–and, possibly, Governor Corbett in his 2014 primary contest.”

The group is one of Pa.’s largest Tea Party organizations.

Pa.’s statewide judges run for 10 years at a time. After serving a first term, a judge simply needs to win retention – an effort that typically is unopposed and succeeds by a wide margin.

The state’s new law requires voters to present an acceptable form of photo identification. It was challenged in court on the grounds that voters who lack ID must face obstacles in order to obtain it. In August, a Commonwealth Court judge upheld the law. But Tuesday, the Pa. Supreme Court nullified that verdict and instructed the lower court to more thoroughly investigate the availability of photo ID to valid voters.

Most observers believe that the Pa. Supreme Court wanted to issue a temporary injunction to prevent the law from taking effect in time for the November elections – but didn’t want to rule that way explicitly.

The IHTP probably doesn’t have a lot of pull in Baer’s Democratic retention election results, but they could be an added headache for Chief Justice Castille.

Their threat follows a piece by Capitolwire’s Pete DeCoursey, explaining why Castille would be on thin ice should he join the Court’s Democrats in ruling against the voter ID law.

Here’s why.

Castille would like to run for retention in 2013, despite being just a year or two shy of the state’s mandatory retirement age of 70. His seat would thus be open in the 2015 cycle.

Republican party leaders are already skeptical, because 2013 would be a great year for the GOP to win an open judicial seat. 2015, the year that Philly local offices go up for the vote, would not be as promising.

If Castille rules against the GOP on Voter ID (or the Marcellus shale case, or redistricting), he’ll be facing an uphill battle for party support for retention.

22 Responses

  1. I live in Philly and I have no problem if I have to show my ID. No problem whatsoever. I will be informing my friends and family to put a big NO for retention of both judges. Our right to vote must be protected. The only voter disenfranchised is the legal vote that is washed out by the illegal vote. Why are there no long lines at the voting booths if there were a record number of turnouts the 2 previous elections in Philly? I will tell you why. The Democrats Threw Republicans poll watchers out this past year and they were not allowed back in until the got a court order and had to be escorted by law enforcement. In the interim the democrats did their underhanded bull crap and committed their voter fraud by entering the vote for fictitious people, dead people and people they knew would not show up at the polls. If the voter ID law is not passed I am asking all of my friends and family members to vote these 2 judges out on their judicial butts.

  2. Is it just me or does anyone else think that
    Bob Sklaroff is a confused, babbling big-mouth who speaks to an audience of one? Himself.

    Does he really think we can’t survive without his incoherent, rambling rants?

  3. “I’m still not convinced in my predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement,” Judge Simpson wrote.

    How’s that for “thumb on the scale” justice? “NO voter disenfranchisement”? “NO”? None whatsoever? Hell, I’ll bet his “predictive judgement” couldn’t be convinced that the sun would rise tomorrow in the east to that standard.

    The Supreme Court that set that impossible standard wanted to make sure that ANYBODY (registered voter or not, citizen or not) can vote.

    Every politician in Supreme Court Justice clothing who signed onto this decision deserves the figurative thumbs-down.

    Machine politics are the norm in PA, even at the SC level, which is one reason why I would never move back.

  4. There is nothing wrong with requiring a voter ID.


    There IS something wrong with implementing this new law 9 months before a presidential election. If voter fraud was so rampant in the last election, why didn’t the GOP rush to pass this law immediately after the 2008 election? Wait until the 2016 election to impose this, that way it will give people 4 years to get their act together, and THEN you can give them the ‘you have no excuse’ treatment.

    Watch the video and sign the petition to end Voter Suppression.

  5. The Tea Party is all in favor of government intrusion into our private lies and theft of our liberty if it’s the only way their lousy candidate can win.

  6. [synthesis continued]

    I believe the underpinnings of the TEA [taxed enough already] Party Movement entail adherence to the adage “Rule of Law.”

    Therefore, it would be wise for those who profess to have adopted this “conservative” stance [including the IHTA] to apply this mandate religiously.

    Specifically, unless the underpinnings of the cogent logic of the Supreme Court’s Opinion can be challenged [and the précis thereof in this terse document suggests otherwise, as per citation of admissions by the Corbett Administration], it would be prudent to maintain measured silence [if nothing else] until the process has played-out [rather than adopting an attack-mode stance].

    Finally, those who contend that the Supreme Court is complicit in any effort to run-out-the-clock should note how the Order ends: “The Commonwealth Court is to file its supplemental opinion on or before
    October 2, 2012. Any further appeals will be administered on an expedited basis.”

    THEREFORE, it can be concluded that this process will have been concluded, perhaps, within a fortnight [and adherence to the SCOTUS precedent in Indiana will have been viewed as controlling].


    {Advice to Don Adams: “CHILL!”}

  7. Shouldn’t any ruling that requiring ID to vote is not Constitutional … also automatically overturn any requirement to show ID when … boarding a plane, buying liquor, cashing a check, setting up a bank account, getting a store credit account, buying a car, signing up for a store loyalty program, buying or renting a house, entering many government buildings, purchasing a fire arm etc.

  8. [synthesis]

    Placing the Judiciary above Politics, what is wrong with this outcome?

    The sentiments expressed by the Administration [CAROLE AICHELE, IN HER
    COMMONWEALTH] on the Dom Giordano Show [yesterday @ ~9:30 a.m.] appeared to be cogent; she invoked statistics and actions to convey the conclusion that the actual number of potentially-disenfranchised voters is < ~100K [not upwards of 1M] and the ongoing efforts to inform everyone of this law will now include sending a postcard to every PA household.

    Let us assume that Judge Simpson [writing for the majority] has already concluded that "Commonwealth Court is…convinced in its predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement arising out of the Commonwealth’s implementation of a
    voter identification requirement for purposes of the upcoming election."

    Can it be reasonably concluded that–after having been presented with further data documenting non-mandated efforts to inform the public of this innovation [which were initiated prior to April's Primary and accellerated over the summer]–the CC will reverse its prior posture?

    [to be continued]

  9. [analysis continued]

    After having recounted numerous operational concerns with the execution of this law, the Opinion noted: “the disconnect between what the Law prescribes and how it is being implemented has created a number of conceptual difficulties in addressing the legal issues raised.”

    Therefore, recognizing that the Commonwealth has issued numerous accommodations to the need to enhance registration/education efforts…that cry for an update following the Commonwealth Court’s evidentiary hearing…the Order appears reasonable:

    “…[W]e will return the matter to the Commonwealth Court to make a present
    assessment of the actual availability of the alternate identification cards on a developed
    record in light of the experience since the time the cards became available. In this
    regard, the court is to consider whether the procedures being used for deployment of
    the cards comport with the requirement of liberal access which the General Assembly
    attached to the issuance of PennDOT identification cards.”

    [to be continued]

  10. A cogent review of the Opinion is at-variance with the sentiments expressed by the IHTA.

    At the onset, the following stipulation illustrates the receptivity expressed by the Court towards the ultimate anti-corruption goal of the voter/photo-ID law:

    “…counsel for Appellants acknowledged that there is no constitutional impediment to the
    Commonwealth’s implementation of a voter identification requirement, at least in the
    abstract. Given reasonable voter education efforts, reasonably available means for
    procuring identification, and reasonable time allowed for implementation, the Appellants
    apparently would accept that the State may require the presentation of an identification
    card as a precondition to casting a ballot. The gravamen of their challenge at this
    juncture lies solely in the implementation.”

    [to be continued]

  11. So, this is where the lib-bots use the tired “dehumanize” tactic…you know, like that guy in 1930s Germany…

  12. Judicial retention does not involve a partisan primary. It is a ballot question in the general election, “Shall ________ be retained as Judge of _________.” Vote YES or NO.

  13. And I would be honored to change my registration to support Justice Castille if he is targeted for simply upholding the state Constitution. I’m sure tens of thousands of Philadelphians – where Castille hails from – will be joining me.

  14. Oh great. The Ignorant Illiterates raise their shrunken heads. The Republican Party is suffering the Tyranny of the Ignorant, and that is why they are heading for a bloodbath in November. These GED wizards represent, what, 7% of the electorate? Delusions of Influence abound among the uneducated who are simply unable to comprehend simple arithmetic. Go away, please. You are embarrassing yourselves.

  15. Now that you have read what passes for mature, reasoned analysis in left wing loon circles, consider that the overwhelming majority of citizens-who don’t live in their mom’s basement- support voter ID.

  16. Eakin and saylor voted with Castille and Baer. Will they be victims of the tea party crowd when they stand for retention? Todd and McCaffrey are the real heroes!

  17. If Ron Castille votes to overturn this voterID bill, I would have to seriously consider giving him retention.

  18. I think whatever support Castille loses from crazy rightwingers he’d more than pick up from grateful sane people who appreciate what he will have done to preserve democracy in our state.

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