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ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court threw out a challenge yesterday to the state’s voter-ID law, sidestepping a decision on whether the requirement is constitutional.

The unanimous opinion reversed a judge’s ruling in September that the law posed an unconstitutional burden on voters but did not speak to that issue, ruling instead that the plaintiff had no legal grounds to challenge the law.

After the lower court ruling, the State Election Board decided not to require voters to show a photo ID to cast a ballot in the November elections. With another challenge pending in federal court, it is still not clear whether the state can begin requiring voters to show identification at the polls.

IOWA

Butts charged in toilet-paper theft

MARSHALLTOWN — Police say Suzanne Marie Butts stole toilet paper from a central Iowa courthouse, and although they’re chuckling, the theft charge could put her in prison.

“She’s facing potentially three years of incarceration for three rolls of toilet paper,” Chief Lon Walker said, stifling a laugh as he talked to KCCI-TV about Miss Butts. “See, I can’t say it with a straight face.”

Workers had noticed the rolls disappearing from the Marshall County Courthouse much faster than usual, Chief Walker said.

Miss Butts, 38, was caught last week after an employee saw her taking three rolls of two-ply tissue from a storage closet, Chief Walker said.

Miss Butts, who has prior theft convictions, insisted that it was the first time she’d pilfered toilet paper, but she declined to answer further questions on her attorney’s advice.

NEW JERSEY

Court lets mother take girl to Japan

NEWARK — A divorced woman may move to Japan with her daughter over the wishes of the child’s father, even though he fears that Japanese law won’t allow him to enforce visitation orders, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

The 7-0 decision upheld two lower court rulings in the case of Ronald and Erika MacKinnon, who separated in 2002 after 11 years of marriage. Their daughter, Justine, is 7.

Mr. MacKinnon said Japan is not among 79 nations that have signed the Hague Convention on abducted children, meaning that he would have no legal recourse.

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