"Please ID Me" lawsuit tossed out "with prejudice"
A judge dismisses a "Please ID Me" lawsuit "With Prejudice"
You can't go to the polls in Minnesota on Election Day festooned in political messages, whether they're on shirts, hats, buttons or whatever. It's against the law.
But the "Please ID Me" people, who urged vigilantes to run after grannies on Election Day with video cameras to make sure they weren't voting twice, figured they'd try it anyway.
Because nothing reinforces your opinion that our election process is corrupt like violating laws designed to make sure that our election process isn't corrupt.
"Please ID Me" is one of the cross-pollinating conservative umbrella groups agitating for a law that would require all Minnesotans to be forced to show a photo I.D. when they vote. It's backed by including Election Integrity Watch, Minnesota Majority and Minnesota North Star Tea Party Patriots.
Right before Election Day, the group went to court seeking an injunction that would allow them to bypass state election law and wear their badges. Federal judge Joan Ericksen turned them down, based on the law:
A person may not display campaign material, post signs, ask, solicit, or in any manner try to induce or persuade a voter within a polling place or within 100 feet of the building in which a polling place is situated, or anywhere on the public property on which a polling place is situated, on primary or election day to vote for or refrain from voting for a candidate or ballot question. A person may not provide political badges, political buttons, or other political insignia to be worn at or about the polling place on the day of a primary or election. A political badge, political button, or other political insignia may not be worn at or about the polling place on primary or election day.
Undeterred, the "Please ID Me" vigilantes showed up anyway, confronting election officials trying to enforce the law by moving into areas where they weren't allowed, and behaving aggressively. By the middle of hte day, election judges were having "firm words" with the vigilantes.
Two weeks later, after the elections, they sued county election officials claiming their constitutional rights had been violated. One plaintiff also tried to make the case, unsuccessfully, that she was prevented from voting.
Rubbish, judge Ericksen ruled on Friday.
"Minnesota's strong interest in creating a neutral zone where individuals can vote free from external influence is reasonably furthered by restricting the expression of political views within the narrow confines of the polling place," she said. State law, "on its face, is neutral. It applies to any political badge or button, no matter what view it espouses."
And Ericksen didn't stop there. She dismissed the lawsuit "with prejudice," which means the plaintiffs can never bring the the lawsuit before the court again.
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