A voter ID lawsuit that has been simmering before an appeals court for more than three years could upend Wisconsin’s election this fall.
Then again, the three judges in charge of the case could continue to sit on the litigation, leaving it unresolved until after November. The sweeping lawsuit covers the voter ID law, early voting rules and a host of other election policies.
The three-year delay in issuing a decision is unusual and unexplained.
“This is shocking to me that it’s still pending without any resolution,” said Joshua Douglas, a University of Kentucky College of Law professor who focuses on election laws.
“To me, this goes beyond just ‘this is a difficult case and so we’re taking our time working on it.’ I think it’s reasonable to speculate that there’s some major disagreement, a lot of back and forth between competing opinions. Perhaps one of the judges is equivocating.”
The case is the oldest pending case before the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the court’s administrator, Collins Fitzpatrick. Typically the court takes six to eight months to dispose of cases, he said.