Only one Supreme Court Justice seemed keen on overturning Indiana's voter identification law, Los Angeles Times reporter David Savage noted in a January 9 article at latimes.com. That would be liberal Clinton appointee Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But while Savage noted that "conservatives [were] leading the way," in questioning the validity of the Indiana Democrats' complaint about the law, he failed to note Ginsburg's ideological leanings. Nor did he suggest she's out on a far-left limb since none of other liberal colleagues shared her concerns:
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court, hearing arguments in a partisan election-law dispute, gave no hint today that it would strike down the nation's strictest voter identification law.
Democrats in Indiana challenged the law as unconstitutional, saying the Republican-backed measure would deter thousands of poor, minority and elderly voters from casting ballots. Registered voters in Indiana without a valid driver's license or passport would not have their ballots counted.
But the justices, with the conservatives leading the way, said the Democrats had failed to prove the measure would have much impact.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy characterized the law as posing only "a minor inconvenience" to a small percentage of voters. "You want us to invalidate a statute" on that basis? he asked Washington lawyer Paul M. Smith, representing the Indiana Democrats.
Only Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the Indiana requirement was unfair and unconstitutional. People who are "indigent" are not likely to have a valid driver's license, and they will not be able to go to a county courthouse to get an ID card from the state. This has obvious political consequences, she added.
Of course Ginsburg is not the only liberal on the court, but the fact that she was the only liberal justice to strongly question the Indiana law might suggest that she's on the fringe left of this issue even among her liberal peers.
Just don't expect that analysis to find space in the Los Angeles Times.