Van Hollen: Voter ID ruling will help appeal; wouldn't defend domestic registry

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he stands by his decision not to defend Wisconsin's domestic partner registry even though it was one of the toughest he has made in office.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court said Thursday that the registry giving limited benefits to same-sex couples does not violate the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Van Hollen says that despite the court's unanimous decision, he still believes the registry is unconstitutional.

The gay rights organization, Fair Wisconsin, intervened and successfully defended the law against a challenge by Julaine Appling, the head of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says the state Supreme Court's upholding of a photo identification requirement for voters will help the state in its appeal of a federal judge's ruling striking down the law as unconstitutional.

Van Hollen told The Associated Press on Thursday that he is looking at all options to get that federal court ruling put on hold, so the photo ID requirement can be in place for the November election.

The state Supreme Court's ruling affirming the law has no immediate effect because of the federal court's ruling blocking it.

Van Hollen says the state court's decision should help defense of the law in federal court.

The law passed in 2011 was in effect for only one low-turnout spring 2012 primary before being blocked.

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