Federal judge dismisses voter ID challenge

MADISON — A federal judge has dismissed portions of a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's photo identification requirements for voters.

One Wisconsin Institute Inc., Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund and a half-dozen voters filed a lawsuit in June alleging a host of changes Republicans made to Wisconsin election laws burden black people, Hispanics and Democrat-leaning voters.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson issued an order Thursday, December 17th -- saying he has granted the state's motion to dismiss a portion of the lawsuit challenging voter ID requirements because a federal appellate court has already upheld the mandate in a separate case.

But Peterson rejected the state's request to dismiss another section of the lawsuit alleging the state has no basis for excluding technical college, out-of-state and certain expired identification cards from the list of valid photo identification.

Attorney General Brad Schimel praised the decision:

“The district court reaffirmed what the Seventh Circuit already told us in Frank v. Walker: Wisconsin’s voter ID law is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. I look forward to this commonsense law being enforced as we move toward the 2016 election.”

READ IT: Opinion and order in this case, via the Wisconsin DOJ's website.