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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

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Voter qualifications
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Missouri
Plaintiff Description Missouri taxpayers
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2006 - n/a
Filing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
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)
VR-MO-0061-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/14/2006
First Amended Complaint
VR-MO-0061-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/16/2006
Motion for Preliminary Injunction
VR-MO-0061-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2006
Judgment of the Cole County Circuit Court
VR-MO-0061-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/14/2006
Appellant's Brief to Missouri Supreme Court
VR-MO-0061-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/28/2006
Intervenor's Brief to Missouri Supreme Court
VR-MO-0061-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/28/2006
Respondent's Brief to Missouri Supreme Court
VR-MO-0061-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2006
Missouri Supreme Court Per Curiam Opinion (203 S.W.3d 201)
VR-MO-0061-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/07/2006
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Blackmar, Charles (State Supreme Court)
Callahan, Richard G. (State Trial Court)
Limbaugh, Stephen Nathaniel (E.D. Mo., W.D. Mo.)
Rahmeyer, Nancy (State Appellate Court)
Stith, Laura Denvir (State Supreme Court)
Teitelman, Richard B. (State Supreme Court)
White, Ronnie Lee (State Supreme Court, E.D. Mo.)
Wolff, Michael A. (State Supreme Court)
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)
Newman, Burton (Missouri)
Defendant's Lawyers Ahuja, Alok (Missouri)
Berri, Brett (Missouri)
Deutsch, James B. (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0010 | VR-MO-0061-0011
Harding, R. Ryan (Missouri)
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)
Wood, Barbara J. (Missouri)
VR-MO-0061-0004 | VR-MO-0061-0011
Other Lawyers Becker, David J. (District of Columbia)
Bell-Platts, Meredith (Georgia)
Benson, Arthur A. (Missouri)
Blustein, Benjamin Jay (District of Columbia)
Bradley, Neil T. (Georgia)
Cairns, Richard J (New York)
Cleary, John Charles (New York)
Ferron, Benjamin J. (New York)
Greenbaum, Jon M. (District of Columbia)
Hayes, Dennis Courtland (Maryland)
Holmes, Cynthia S. (Missouri)
Johnson-Blanco, Marcia (District of Columbia)
Kohrman, Daniel B. (District of Columbia)
Lansford, Jamie Kathryn (Missouri)
Mincberg, Elliot M. (District of Columbia)
Nonna, John M. (New York)
Siegfried, Jonathan D. (New York)
Solano, Henry L. (New York)

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