April 28th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Blitzer: Court ruling could have huge impact at the polls

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/16/art.blitzeriowa.cnn.jpg caption=" Blitzer: Could the Supreme Court's ruling make a difference at the ballot box?."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Just as many Democrats have been getting nervous about their presidential prospects in November against Republican John McCain, the U.S. Supreme Court issues a major ruling that potentially could have significant political fallout.

As you probably know by now, the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 that states can indeed require voters to produce photo identification in order to prevent voter fraud. “We cannot conclude that the statute imposes ‘excessively burdensome requirements’ on any class of voters,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the majority opinion.

For years, many Republicans have strongly supported these requirements as a way to make sure that only eligible U.S. citizens actually get to vote. Many Democrats have opposed these statutes, arguing that they often deter minority, elderly and poor voters from showing up at the polls. Some of these voters simply don’t have appropriate government-issued photo identification. More than 20 states already have such requirements. Now, with this Supreme Court decision, other states no doubt will follow suit.

One state that already has such a photo identification requirement is Indiana, which holds its Democratic presidential primary on May 6.

With the Supreme Court ruling that these requirements are in fact Constitutional, will minorities, the elderly and the poor in Indiana be deterred from showing up that day to vote? Will either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama benefit from this? He has done better with African American voters; she has done better with Hispanic voters. He has often done better with poor voters; she has done better with elderly voters.

I suspect this Supreme Court decision will have marginal impact in the remaining Democratic primaries. It probably will have a lot more impact in November – not only in the general presidential election but in several Senate and House races as well as in many other state and local contests.

As the Associated Press noted in its report, this decision “was the most important voting rights case since the Bush v. Gore dispute that sealed the 2000 election for George W. Bush.”

Related: Watch Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena's analysis of the courts ruling

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. ladyatlaw

    It will not matter if Clinton wins Indiana because when Barack wins NC it will wipe her out completely. You must understand politricks..the game is try to make people get ID's so the Clinton campaign can win..However, what peeps do not understand is that ..IT WILL NOT WORK.. i smell a rat..Clinton is desperate..

    April 28, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. john

    wolf, i'm tied of hearing contiously that obama can't win some white votes, first of all, he won white votes in quite a few states, and what ever happen to clinton not doing anything close to winning the black vote, it's like primary after primary her numbers with the black vote just keeps droping, i mean look at the last primary, she only had about 8% of the black vote, does she think she could win the general without the black vote?

    April 28, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. ladyatlaw

    Not to worry Obamaites.Hispanics are tyhe ones who will need an ID BECAUSE THEY ARE USUALLY WITHOUT THE PROPER id and the illegal will usually vote for the one who mostly looks like a candidate..They are huge racists

    April 28, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. michaelbiggsjr

    As a credentials committee member for the Collin County Texas Democratic Party, I have seen first hand how voting fraud happens. In Texas we have both a Primary and a Caucus system.

    Ms. Clinton won the primary in Texas.
    Mr. Obama won the caucus in Texas.

    The main difference is in the primary, voters are required to be a registered voter in the Precinct in which they vote.

    In the caucus in Collin and some other counties we did not require that the people be a registered voter. We did not even require they give a last name or an address.

    This is a huge problem because some precincts get a large number of delegates while having relatively few voters at the caucus. The Obama campaign targeted such districts for precinct shopping.

    At least 30 Obama delegates to the County Convention were representing precinct they did not live in.

    I would be happy to prove what I am saying to anyone that is interested.

    April 28, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. HillarySkank on myspace

    No matter how is it spun it is up to the state to make sure that people that want to vote get the chance to vote. And as long as the state follows the rules, that their votes count.

    No matter how this turns out, the Clintonites and Internadicts will claim it unfair leading up to the election and will not shut up unless it falls in their favor.

    Her royal thighness is not equipped to be president of this country

    April 28, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |

    Racism rises again! The RNC and the Clintons are ruling on this and they are putting African Americans back in slavery. It is not bad enough that they have to live poor but now their rights are being taken away again.


    New York, NY

    April 28, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  7. BS

    I have always admired Wolf Blitzer's tenacity in his questions. Lately though both he and his producer are dead set on highlighting Hillary's successes and glorifying them and at the same time belittling Obamas gains.

    April 28, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. Key West Sun

    Voter ID is needed, one vote one person, if you don't have a picture ID, they should issue voter cards with pictures.

    April 28, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Nikki Strong

    Other than the obvious disrespect of the government to make you show your face for your vote, I don't understand what's the big deal. Folks you have 6 whole months to get up $16.50 for an I.D. Just get an I.D. what's the big deal? If you want to change these type of policies than make sure you get your I.D. and get that vote out in November 2008.

    April 28, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. Laila

    Oh, Wolf, when I saw something about a court case, I actually thought you were going to report on the Paul vs. Clinton case. I haven't heard much about that on the news...what are you waiting for? Perhaps after
    you've spun enough of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and ruined our best chance in a lifetime to actually have a leader of integrity, sincerity, wisdom, and vision in the white house. Then the truth will come out
    and what will the polls say then about Hillary's electability? Please use your position responsibly and report some real news and then
    the people can decide for themselves..

    April 28, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. Eve

    No need to make it a bigger issue than it is. Here in Puerto Rico (primary June 1st) everyone who registers to vote gets a photo id electoral card. It's free. Every election it gets a hole punched in along the edge. If it gets lost you can get a new one free, even on election day. When you show your card to the election officials on election day they look you up in the voting lists. No big deal!

    April 28, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. carlos rodriguez

    Wolf's republican face has come out. He only talks about Reverend Wright, Obama, however, he does talk about McCain that flip-flop all the time and involved in the Keating 5. Why he does not address McCain's problems.

    April 28, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. JCB

    My state requires photo ID to vote, and I have no problem with that. I also have to photo ID to get through an airport. So what!

    Here goes! Obama should debate. Wright does matter. Votes and delegates in Michigan and Florida should count as is - no deals. Throw out the Texas caucus - no one should have to stay until 3:00 or 4:00 AM to vote in a caucus. (Most people have children and jobs - they can't pull all-nighters anymore.) Hillary should stay in until the convention.

    Let's get back to good old fashion politics. Look at the issues. Choose a candidate of substanance - not just rethoric. Super delegates should base their votes on their states primaries or go to the house.

    April 28, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Grif

    With most of those complaints's in The Texas Caucus. If you have Identification, they can't turn a Voter away.

    April 28, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. mike

    CNNmakes it sound like poor people won't be able to vote and show a woman who says she must pay 100 for an id – baloney! You can get an id at the dmv for free.

    I'm so sick of CNN bias – cafferty and wolf and borger and others on the same side of every issue. The best political team is liberal loving.

    April 28, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. NY

    Erick speaks the truth. Peace man.

    April 28, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  17. Docb

    This will have fallout..especially with older and immigrant voters...The election fraud has to do with the voting machines and the fact that here is not way to track or verify..
    There is wide spread voter depression..this does not deal with that issue.
    When are you going to QUIT pushing the clinton spin and ASK WHY SHE CAN NOT CLOSE THE DEAL? With double digit leads- national name recognition, a expres as a husband,, all the money from big donors, and the deck stacked for/by her , Bill, and McAuliffe at the DNC- she is behind in every metric!!!!

    April 28, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. John

    Mr. Wolfe Blitzer,That was an excellent move of fair play to ask Candy Crowley about Gov. Mike Easley endorsing Hillary R. Clinton? Good job Wolf. This is a sign of leadership.Congratulations.

    April 28, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. PMN

    Don't be niave b-liberal, Hillary and Bill have been whining since day one. Remeber the Ohio debate "Why do I always get the first question?!"

    April 28, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Joe

    Wolf, Why doesn't Obama just do what Sen. McCain did with the story about a possible relationship with a former lobbyist earlier this year. He gave a short statement and said that he would no longer take questions on the issue. He has been asked about it since.

    April 28, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. RJ-Ga

    You are as bias as ever ! Let me ask you a question did not the 911 terrorist have photo ID's, what good is it ? Is this not another poll tax, used to prevent people from voting? Did we not have to create the 13th,14th, and 15th amendments to include women and black people. This Supreme Court claim to be originalist to the constitution, yet they approved the photo ID, where in the original constitution did it mention photos ? Why don't you, Candy Crowley, Jessica Yellin ,and Gloria have the courage to say, you are Clinton supporters !

    April 28, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. David H.

    What I found interesting was the breakdown of the votes in the Supreme Court's decision. Basically, there were three positions. Scalia, Thomas, and Alito (three Justices who are considered "conservative") held one position; Breyer, Ginsberg, and Souter (three Justices who are considered "liberal") held another position, and Stephens, Roberts, and Kennedy held a third position. Stephens is considered "liberal"–often, the most liberal on the Court–Roberts is considered "conservative", and Kennedy is the notable "swing vote" in many cases. That makes this third group "centrist".

    In this case, since the vote was split 3-3-3, there was no majority opinion. The "centrist" group and the "conservative" group agreed on the outcome, which was that the specific law in Indiana was constitutional, but they disagreed as to the reason why. Thus, the *reasoning* behind the two positions is not considered to be binding precedent, and future cases may be required for the Court to issue a binding opinion to clarify what restrictions are constitutional and which are not.

    April 28, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. Obamaniac

    Doubt it will affect either candidtate...Indiana already has this law...so the voters were already aware....As an Obama fan..It's amazing how when Obama is up (destined to win) the media drowns us out with negative exposure. I see the strategy. I mean Keeping the HIllraisers believing Clinton will win definitely, keeps the drama going. In return, securing the bloggers and anchors with Material. But it's clear Obama is going to represent the Dem Party for President due to Delegate count. WHY FEED INTO THE DRAMA?

    April 28, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. Penn State

    I could have sworn that the poor vote went to Clinton. Is Wolf calling African-Americans poor. I thought that Obama received most of the rich vote.

    April 28, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. Obatala

    mm mm ............you know who will register dead people to win the election at all costs..............

    clinton will do whatever she can to steal the nomination and any ruling she can get she will twist it as much as she can as she has been doing all along

    can someone stand up agains the clinton machine?
    why is everyone so afraid of the clintons?

    April 28, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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