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Case Name Weinschenk v. State of Missouri VR-MO-0061
Docket / Court 06AC-CC00656 ( State Court )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Case Summary
In this taxpayer suit in state court, plaintiffs argued that Missouri's Constitutional right to vote was violated by a state statute (Senate Bill 1014, amending Mo. Rev. Stat. 115.427), requiring would-be voters to present a Missouri or federal issued photo id at the polls (passport, military ... read more >
In this taxpayer suit in state court, plaintiffs argued that Missouri's Constitutional right to vote was violated by a state statute (Senate Bill 1014, amending Mo. Rev. Stat. 115.427), requiring would-be voters to present a Missouri or federal issued photo id at the polls (passport, military identification, state-issued driver's license, or special non-driver's licence state-issued id). Plaintiffs alleged that the law impacted the fundamental right to vote and equal protection provisions of the Missouri Constitution, and that it was an unfunded mandate in vioaltion of Art. X, Sec. 21 of the state constitution, otherwise known as the Hancock Amendment. The case was consolidated for purposes of a preliminary injunction hearing with Jackson County v. State of Missouri, No. 06AC-CC00587, a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union alleging that the law violated provisions of Missouri's Hancock Amendment. A citizen and the law's sponsor, Sen. Delbert Scott, were allowed to intervene as defendants.

An evidentiary hearing was held in Cole County Circuit Court in August and September 2006, and on September 14, 2006, the court (Judge Richard G. Callahan) held the portion of RSMO 115.427 that requires voters to present certain forms of photo identification is unconstitutional and entered a declaratory judgment and injunction forbidding state and county officials from implementing the law. At trial, evidence was presented that between three and four pecent of Missourians lacked one of requisite forms of identification required by the law, that citizens would have to spend money to acquire the documents necessary to obtain one of the requisite forms of idenfication, and that voter impersonation fraud had not been found to be a problem in Missouri.

The state appealed. Arguments were heard before the Missouri Supreme Court on October 4, 2006.

On October 16, 2006, the Missouri Supreme Court in a per curiam decision, affirmed the circuit court's ruling that the voter photo identification requirements contained SB1014, and codified at RSMO 115.427, were unconstitutional.

The court held that the law burdened the fundamental right to vote and violated the equal protection provisions of the Missouri Constitution, contained at contained in Art. I Sec. 25 and Art. I Sec. 2 respectively. The court noted that the law improperly imposed a poll tax on voters who lacked appropriate identification and had to purchse the necessary documents to obtain it. It also reasoned that the law imposed a substantial burden on the right of suffrage by placing bureaucratic hurdles in front of otherwise eligible voters. In applying strict scrutiny, the court, while recognizing the state's interest in preventing voter fraud, nevertheless concluded that Missouri's photo ID law was not narrowly tailored to address a compelling state interest.

Judge Stephen Limbaugh dissented, concluding that the transitional provisions of the law, which until 2008 allowed voters without identification to cast provisional ballots, alleviated, at least in the interim, any constitutional deficiencies in the law.

Denise Lieberman - 10/18/2006


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Voting
Voter qualifications
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Missouri
Plaintiff Description Missouri taxpayers
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2006 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Complaint
VR-MO-0061-0003 PDF | Detail
Memo in Support of Preliminary Injunction
VR-MO-0061-0005 PDF | Detail
SB 1014 (Bill requiring use of photo ids) 06/14/2006
VR-MO-0061-0002 PDF | Detail
First Amended Complaint 08/16/2006
VR-MO-0061-0004 PDF | Detail
Motion for Preliminary Injunction 08/28/2006
VR-MO-0061-0006 PDF | Detail
Judgment of the Cole County Circuit Court 09/14/2006
VR-MO-0061-0001 PDF | Detail
Appellant's Brief to Missouri Supreme Court 09/28/2006
VR-MO-0061-0008 PDF | Detail
Intervenor's Brief to Missouri Supreme Court 09/28/2006
VR-MO-0061-0010 PDF | Detail
Respondent's Brief to Missouri Supreme Court 10/02/2006
VR-MO-0061-0009 PDF | Detail
Missouri Supreme Court Per Curiam Opinion 11/07/2006 (203 S.W.3d 201)
VR-MO-0061-0011 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Blackmar, Charles (State Supreme Court)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Callahan, Richard G. (State Trial Court)
VR-MO-0061-0001
Limbaugh, Stephen Nathaniel (W.D. Mo., E.D. Mo.)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Rahmeyer, Nancy (State Appellate Court)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Stith, Laura Denvir (State Supreme Court)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Teitelman, Richard B. (State Supreme Court)
VR-MO-0061-0011
White, Ronnie Lee (State Supreme Court, E.D. Mo.)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Wolff, Michael A. (State Supreme Court)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Airsman, Erica L (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0003 | VR-MO-0061-0004 | VR-MO-0061-0005 | VR-MO-0061-0006 | VR-MO-0061-0009 | VR-MO-0061-0011
Downing, Don M (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0003 | VR-MO-0061-0004 | VR-MO-0061-0005 | VR-MO-0061-0006 | VR-MO-0061-0009 | VR-MO-0061-0011
Miller, Richard C (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0004
Newman, Burton (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0004
Defendant's Lawyers Ahuja, Alok (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Berri, Brett (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0004
Deutsch, James B. (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0010 | VR-MO-0061-0011
Harding, R. Ryan (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0004
Hearne, Mark F. (Thor) II (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0010 | VR-MO-0061-0011
Long, Mark (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0004 | VR-MO-0061-0008 | VR-MO-0061-0011
Nixon, Jeremiah (Jay) W. (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0008 | VR-MO-0061-0011
Presson, Robert L. (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0004
Wood, Barbara J. (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0004 | VR-MO-0061-0011
Other Lawyers Becker, David J. (District of Columbia)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Bell-Platts, Meredith (Georgia)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Benson, Arthur A. (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Blustein, Benjamin Jay (District of Columbia)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Bradley, Neil T. (Georgia)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Cairns, Richard J (New York)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Cleary, John Charles (New York)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Ferron, Benjamin J. (New York)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Greenbaum, Jon M. (District of Columbia)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Hayes, Dennis Courtland (Maryland)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Holmes, Cynthia S. (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Johnson-Blanco, Marcia (District of Columbia)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Kohrman, Daniel B. (District of Columbia)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Lansford, Jamie Kathryn (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Mincberg, Elliot M. (District of Columbia)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Nonna, John M. (New York)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Siegfried, Jonathan D. (New York)
VR-MO-0061-0011
Solano, Henry L. (New York)
VR-MO-0061-0011

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