Justice Thomas Saylor, a Republican, asked each Putnam and Knorr, in turn, about the section of Act 18 that stipulates that the Department of Transportation would provide IDs for voting to people who lack the proof of their identity required for standard IDs that section, though, clashes with federal regulations for issuing secure IDs.
Of the ability to actually implement that part of the law, Saylor asked, "Will that ever happen?"
"I think I have to say no, based on what federal law requires," Knorr said.
Saylor clarified, "You can't comply with the letter of this law."
"You can't comply with the letter of that section," Knorr said.
He encouraged the six justices to uphold the lower courts' ruling, which denied a preliminary injunction.
Voting is a fundamental right, Knorr told the Supreme Court, but "not everything that affects that right is fundamental."
It cannot exist without a regulatory framework and the legislature sets those parameters, he said.
"The bedrock here is, does this legislation bear some reasonable relationship" to a proper purpose, Knorr said, answering that it plainly does.
David Gersch, of the Washington, D.C., law firm Arnold & Porter, told the court that it should grant an injunction until there can be a full trial on the merits of the law, because it burdens voters.