The lawyers representing both sides of the voter ID measure debate say the Minnesota Supreme Court is "well prepared" to take on the issue of whether or not it should make it on the ballot.
"Very well-prepared court -- wonderful hearing on both sides," said Thomas Boyd, attorney representing the Minnesota Legislature. "The Court has some tough questions to answer."
After a hearing on Tuesday, it was clear that at least two the justices of the High Court plainly agreed that at least one question was answered: They do believe a ballot question for a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to have photo ID is misleading.
In a brief filed this week, lawyers representing state lawmakers defended the measure by arguing that it had been put on the ballot properly. During the hearing, Thomas Boyd, who has been hired to represent the Minnesota Legislature's interests, argued that lawmakers should be granted a wide breadth when designing ballot questions as long as they are not intentionally deceptive or evasive.
On the other hand, the lawyers for the opponents of the ID requirement say the question is misleading because it doesn't inform voters of the full system they will be asked to decide on, citing the provisional ballot system for those without proper ID at the polls as an example.
"The justices are well prepared, very engaged," said Bill Pentelovitch, attorney for the League of Women Voters, after the hearing. "Hopefully, we gave answers to make a good decision."
Yet, even the justices who openly voiced skepticism during Tuesday's hearing are unsure whether the Supreme Court has the authority to strip the question from the November ballot, rewrite it, or take a different course of action.
On July 17, the Supreme Court will hold oral arguments from amendment opponents who contend that the amendment is vague and, by extension, misleading, but Boyd said he doubts that ballot questions have ever been held to a standard of being strict summaries.
Only six of seven justices are involved in this case. A decision is expected by late August.