The decision in its entirety is after the jump. There is no better way to understand any judicial output (or legislation) than to read it. So I did. In finding for the law initially, Simpson said that he believed that the state would be able to provide IDs, and so there would be no disenfranchisement. After getting seriously smacked down by the State Supreme Court, he reconsidered. The Supremes decision was 4 - 2, and the 2 dissents smacked even harder. Simpson couldn't even get his fellow Republicans to believe that the State would actually hand out the IDs. The problems were numerous, and were reiterated to Simpson in the hearing over which he presided last week.
He did NOT strike down the law. He did, however, delay implementation until after the 2012 election. Mostly. Poll workers can still ask for ID, but voters need to know that they can say no, provided they have voted at that particular polling place before. It has been a Pennsylvania law for many years that voters at a polling place for the first time must show ID. However, the original law did not have the onerous requirements of the current ID law. For example, one could show a school ID and a lease or a utility bill. The requirement for a state or Federal-issued ID with expiration date will not be in force for this election, even for first-time voters. Thus, there is an onus on all GOTV efforts to make sure that people know this.
The state has sent to every household a post card telling them that they will need to show ID to vote. These cards went out about a month ago. There have also been incredibly obnoxious TV ads saying "Show It" with people holding up drivers licenses, passports and other "legitimate" ID. Neither on the cards, nor in the ads (all produced by a Republican group, using taxpayer dollars) did the state remind people to REGISTER TO VOTE. That somehow slipped their collective mind.
35 states are already in some window of early voting, either in-person, or by requesting no-fault absentee ballots. Not in Pennsylvania, where you need to either be out of town or disabled to vote by mail. We here have until next Tuesday to get everyone registered who needs to be, and we are ON IT!
We will certainly get through this election, and we will turn out our voters. The case for a permanent injunction goes back to Simpson's court on 13 December. In my dreams, our voters not only vote to retain our president for a second term, but also remember to vote out every state assemblyman and state Senator who voted for this law. If so, the law can simply be rescinded in January by the new legislature.