As nation focuses on elections, Supremes do too

Today, as supporters of Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain celebrate their Granite State victories, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will take on a different election issue.

The subject in question at today’s oral argument: the Indiana law requiring voters to present photo identification in order to cast a ballot. In the consolidated cases of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, No. 07-21, and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita, No. 07-25, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher will argue that the law is a necessary check against voter fraud, but Paul Smith, a Washington D.C. attorney, will argue that the law amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax, imposing requirements that will keep poor and minority voters away at a disproportionate rate. Watchers are also keeping an eye on this case for its political ramifications on another issue, which is apparent in this election season if not in the case’s merit briefs: illegal immigration.

Then the Court will hear a case involving age discrimination claims in Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC, 06-1037. In the case Malcolm Stewart, assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, will argue on behalf of a 61-year-old county deputy sheriff who was denied disability-retirement benefits under his employer’s plan because he was already eligible for normal retirement benefits, that the use of age as a factor was an facially discriminatory in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Florida attorney Robert Klausner will argue that coverage by a another benefit plan is an age-neutral consideration that companies must be free to make to avoid double-coverage, which would unfairly drive up premium costs of all employees at increase costs for companies.

Lawyer USA subscribers can read more about that case in the archives here.

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