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State judge reaffirms ruling on voter ID law, calling it unconstitutional

| Monday, April 28, 2014, 6:54 p.m.

HARRISBURG — A state judge on Monday reaffirmed his ruling that Pennsylvania's embattled voter identification law is unconstitutional.

Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley rejected the state's motion to reinstate the law, starting a 30-day period for a potential appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The governor's Office of General Counsel and the attorney general's office say they're reviewing McGinley's decision.

Witold Walczak, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, says the permanent injunction McGinley issued bars enforcement of the law unless the state's high court changes that. The ACLU helped lead the legal challenge.

The law is one of the nation's strictest and required nearly all of Pennsylvania's 8.2 million voters to display photo identification. Republicans passed it in 2012 over the protests of every Democratic lawmaker.

The law was never enforced, pending resolution of the court challenge.

McGinley, a Democrat who presided over a 12-day trial of the lawsuit last year, did not strike down the entire law in his Jan. 17 ruling but prohibited enforcement of the photo ID requirement that is its central element.

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