Federal court says Texas voter ID violates Voting Rights Act

The judges suggested that voter registration cards could qualify as acceptable forms of identification or that voters without valid ID could cast a ballot by signing an affidavit. It requires one of seven forms of approved identification, a list that included concealed carry licenses but not a college student’s university ID.


“We conclude that the district court did not clearly err in determining that SB 14 has a discriminatory effect on minorities’ voting rights in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act”. Still, Wednesday’s ruling found that, Section 5 aside, the law nonetheless met the higher legal threshold of violating the Voting Rights Act’s Section 2 – which requires proving that it discriminated against minority voters. A federal appeals court has knocked down a state voter ID law.

“Typically voter ID laws have a disproportionate impact on lower income people, minority folks and elderly folks”, said Elfant.

Texas is likely to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the state also could ask the full 5th Circuit to review the case.

In its ruling, the 5th Circuit panel overturned Ramos’ judgment that Texas’ voter ID law was created with a racially discriminatory objective. The 1965 law declares illegal any provision that suppresses minorities’ voting rights.

“I’m particularly pleased the panel saw through and rejected the plaintiffs” claim that our law constituted a “poll tax.’ The intent of this law is to protect the voting process in Texas, and we will continue to defend this important safeguard for all Texas voters”, Paxton said.

But it also said legislators had intentionally adopted a discriminatory law, a conclusion that could have led to a restoration of federal oversight over Texas voting laws.

A federal appeals court struck down Texas’ voter ID law on Wednesday in a victory for President Barack Obama, whose administration took the unusual step of bringing the weight of the U.S. Justice Department to fight a wave of new ballot-box restrictions passed in conservative statehouses. The right to vote must be constantly defended.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signaled that the ruling wouldn’t deter the state from fighting to keep the measures in place.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said the decision is “a victory for every Texas voter”.

Texas appealed her decision to the 5th Circuit, which, without deciding the issues, put the identification law back into effect, saying it would be too disruptive to change the rules so close to Election Day.

Texas Democrats – the underdogs in state politics for decades – scored a victory on Wednesday.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed an amicus brief in the case to strike down the law, hailed the decision that came near the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.


Following Ramos’ ruling, Abbott, then the Texas attorney general, successfully petitioned for a temporary order from the Supreme Court to allow the law to be in effect for the general election last November.

Candidate Willie Wilson joins a host of dignitaries