Boise, ID – The Fourth District Court of the State of Idaho has dismissed a suit brought by leftist advocacy groups to stop Idaho from implementing House Bills 124 and 340.
On Monday, Judge Hoagland dismissed the case Babe Vote and League of Women Voters of Idaho v. Phil McGrane with prejudice. These groups brought the lawsuit to prevent enforcement of legislative measures that changed the available types of identification for registering and voting in Idaho. In particular, House Bills 124 and 340 create a new free state voter ID and disallow student IDs as voter ID.
Despite the provision of free voter IDs under HB 340, Babe Vote and the League of Women Voters argued that House Bill 124 was a form of age discrimination. Judge Hoagland rejected the organization’s claims, stating: “Plaintiffs seek to equate student identification cards as a form of age discrimination against younger voters, but not all young people are students, and not all students are young people. The new laws are rationally related to their stated purpose to clarify and create uniformity by requiring only generally accepted, authentic, and reliable forms of identification as a reasonable condition to exercise the right of suffrage.”
Furthermore, Judge Hoagland emphasized the authority of the legislature to establish voting qualifications, remarking: “The Idaho Constitution guarantees the right of free and lawful suffrage to the people, and delegates to the legislature the authority to prescribe qualifications, limitations, and conditions necessary for the exercise of the right.”
Lincoln Davis Wilson, Chief of the Civil Litigation and Constitutional Defense Division, had the following to say: “This was a complex case, but our team worked very hard to simplify the issues, and we were pleased to see Judge Hoagland’s order adopting what we believe to be the correct interpretation of the Idaho constitution on every critical point.”
Attorney General Labrador also elaborated on the significance of this case, saying: “This was a meritless lawsuit from the beginning. When the House passed these election integrity bills, they specifically recognized the need for free state voter IDs. Ideally, every Idahoan would exercise their right to vote, but all elections must be safe and secure. To ensure the sanctity of our elections, the House passed HB 124 and 340. But rather than encouraging young people to obtain their free state voter IDs, advocacy groups took legal action against the State, alleging age discrimination. We are pleased with this victory but acknowledge that the battle is not over. Other liberal advocacy groups are bringing the same claims in Federal court, and we will continue to defend these laws.”
The ruling can be accessed here.