Speaker Glenn Richardson apparently believes that strictly interpreting the Constitution only means agreeing with what Republicans in the General Assembly believe.
Section 1, Paragraph 2 of Article II of the Georgia Constitution provides the following requirements for voting in Georgia:
Every person who is a citizen of the United States and a resident of Georgia as defined by law, who is at least 18 years of age and not disenfranchised by this article, and who meets minimum residency requirements as provided by law shall be entitled to vote at any election by the people.
Notice that the Georgia Constitution makes no mention of any requirement of providing a valid photo ID in order to vote. The only reasons for disenfranchisement under Paragraph 3I of Article 2 is conviction of a “felony involving moral turpitude” or if a person has been “judicially determined to be mentally incompetent.”
So, therefore, Judge Bedford’s strict interpretation of the Georgia Constitution is that in order for the legislature to require a photo ID in order to vote in Georgia, you will need to amend the Constitution. Remember, according to conservatives, a judge should not decide a law is valid or invalid because of any personal belief or ideoglogy. So even if Judge Bedford believed that requiring a photo ID is a good idea, he is not allowed to interject his own personal beliefs into his judicial opinion.
But that is not what Republican Speaker Glenn Richardson wanted Judge Bedford to do. You see, in Glenn Richardson’s world, it does not matter what the Constitution requires, if his General Assembly passed a law, then it should be valild. And if a Judge strikes a law down, then obviously he is an “activist judge.”
Well, Speaker Richardson, you are neither wise nor conservative.