Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NATION [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NATION [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt


WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Thursday night blocked Wisconsin from implementing a controversial voter-identification law in next month's election.

The justices vacated a decision allowing the law to go ahead by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago. Three justices - Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. - dissented.

At the same time, a federal judge in Texas struck down that state's voter-ID law. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos said the law amounted to an "unconstitutional poll tax."

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is also the Republican nominee for governor, said the state would immediately ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to overturn the ruling so that the law can be used for the coming election.

The Wisconsin voter-ID law has been the subject of controversy and court challenges since it was passed in 2011. Federal and state courts had enjoined its use until this year.

But challengers said that nearly 10 percent of Wisconsin voters did not have the photo ID that the law required. The 7th Circuit panel said it was still possible for those voters to get the necessary identification in time for the election.

The Supreme Court majority gave no reason for its decision. But one cause of concern was that some mail-in ballots had already been cast, and for them to count, the voter would have to show up later to produce the proper identification.


NEW YORK - Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Jan Hooks has died.

The 57-year-old Hooks died Thursday in New York, according to The New York Times. The newspaper confirmed the death through Ms. Hooks' agent, Lisa Lieberman.

The comic actress was a versatile performer whose impressions ranged from Nancy Reagan to Sinead O'Connor to Tammy Faye Bakker. …

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