License snag highlights deficiencies of voter law
Supporters of voter identification laws often argue that everyone who wants a valid ID can get one if they only try, ignoring the complications facing people who were born hundreds of miles away or who may not have a birth certificate.
This week, another problem with getting ID was made public in federal court.
A federal judge who six years ago upheld Indianas tough voter ID law ruled a Hoosier was denied his 14th Amendment right to due process after the Bureau of Motor Vehicles refused to give him a drivers license or ID. The problem? His birth certificate and Social Security card – through no fault of his own – do not match.
Our review of the record indicates that Mr. (Joseph) Worley cannot avail himself of the appropriate state law remedy, which is completion of the name change process detailed in the Indiana Code, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker wrote.
Worley was born to an unwed mother, and his birth certificate listed him as Joseph Ivey. But a year later, after his mother married his father, he received a Social Security card in the name of Joseph Worley. Years later, after encountering some problems with the law that included criminal activity, the BMV issued him a drivers license last year – but revoked it soon after because his birth certificate and Social Security card did not match. He hired a lawyer in an effort to get his names straightened out, but the lawyer advised he would not prevail because of his record.
Barker ordered the BMV to hold a due process hearing to determine the validity of Worleys argument and also directed the BMV to conduct its own investigation.
Indiana farmer is seed for high court case
A Hoosier farmers decision to plant a second crop of soybeans in 1999 is a federal case headed to the U.S. Supreme Court and raises significant questions regarding patent law and genetically modified crop seeds.
Vernon Bowman of Knox County (Vincennes is the county seat) used Roundup Ready soybean seeds, which grow into a crop that is resistant to Roundup herbicide.
Like other farmers who buy genetically modified seed, he agreed to strict terms, including using the seeds in only one planting season without saving or re-selling any.
The agreement also prohibits farmers from planting second-generation seeds – seeds grown in the crop planted from the first round of seeds.
But the agreement does allow farmers to sell second-generation seeds to grain elevators for use as a feed or another commodity.
In 1999, Bowman bought commodity seeds from a grain elevator and planted them for a second crop that season, discovering many had the Roundup resistance. So he followed the same practice in following years and told Monsanto representatives what he was doing.
The federal district court and court of appeals found for Monsanto, which argued that Bowman was wrong for selling seeds as a commodity though they were later planted, and planting commodity seeds knowing some contained the Roundup Ready technology. The court ordered Bowman to pay Monsanto about $84,500.
Though the U.S. attorney generals office argued that the nations top court should not take the case, leaving stand the decision for Monsanto, the justices agreed last week to hear the case.