Case: Weinschenk v. State of Missouri

06-00656 | Missouri state trial court

Filed Date: 2006

Clearinghouse coding complete

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 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 t…

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.

Summary Authors

Denise Lieberman (10/18/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Blackmar, Charles (Missouri)

Callahan, Richard G. (Missouri)

Limbaugh, Stephen Nathaniel (Missouri)

Rahmeyer, Nancy (Missouri)

Stith, Laura Denvir (Missouri)

White, Ronnie Lee (Missouri)

Wolff, Michael A. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Airsman, Erica L (Missouri)

Downing, Don M (Missouri)

Miller, Richard C (Missouri)

Judge(s)

Blackmar, Charles (Missouri)

Callahan, Richard G. (Missouri)

Limbaugh, Stephen Nathaniel (Missouri)

Rahmeyer, Nancy (Missouri)

Stith, Laura Denvir (Missouri)

White, Ronnie Lee (Missouri)

Wolff, Michael A. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Airsman, Erica L (Missouri)

Downing, Don M (Missouri)

Miller, Richard C (Missouri)

Newman, Burton (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Ahuja, Alok (Missouri)

Berri, Brett (Missouri)

Deutsch, James B. (Missouri)

Harding, R. Ryan (Missouri)

Hearne, Mark F. (Thor) II (Missouri)

Long, Mark (Missouri)

Nixon, Jeremiah (Jay) W. (Missouri)

Presson, Robert L. (Missouri)

Wood, Barbara J. (Missouri)

Other Attorney(s)

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. (Colorado)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Teitelman, Richard B. (Missouri)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

SB 1014 (Bill requiring use of photo ids)

Weinschenk v. Missouri

No Court

June 14, 2006 Statute/Ordinance/Regulation

First Amended Complaint

Weinschenk v. Missouri

Aug. 16, 2006 Complaint

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Weinschenk v. Missouri

Aug. 28, 2006 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Judgment of the Cole County Circuit Court

Weinschenk v. Missouri

Sept. 14, 2006 Order/Opinion

Appellant's Brief to Missouri Supreme Court

Weinschenk v. Missouri

Missouri state supreme court

Sept. 28, 2006 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Intervenor's Brief to Missouri Supreme Court

Weinschenk v. Missouri

Missouri state supreme court

Sept. 28, 2006 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Respondent's Brief to Missouri Supreme Court

Weinschenk v. Missouri

Missouri state supreme court

Oct. 2, 2006 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Missouri Supreme Court Per Curiam Opinion

Weinschenk v. Missouri

Missouri state supreme court

203 S.W.3d 201, 2006 Mo.LEXIS 122

Nov. 7, 2006 Order/Opinion

Memo in Support of Preliminary Injunction

Weinschenk v. Missouri

None Pleading / Motion / Brief

Complaint

Weinschenk v. Missouri

None Complaint

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Missouri

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2006

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Missouri taxpayers

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Missouri, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 2006 - 0

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

Voting:

Voter qualifications