Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
In the second major victory this week for the Obama administration's Justice Department, voting rights advocates, and for the rule of law, a panel of the D.C. Circuit Court ruled unanimously today that the Texas Voter ID law intentionally discriminates against minority voters. Federal court rejects Texas voter ID law as unfair to Hispanics, African-Americans - The Washington Post:
A federal court has ruled against a Texas law that would require voters to present photo IDs to election officials before being allowed to cast ballots in November.
A three-judge panel in Washington ruled Thursday that the law imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.
* * *
The ruling comes in the same week that South Carolina’s strict photo ID law is on trial in front of another three-judge panel in the same federal courthouse. A court ruling in the South Carolina case is expected in time for the November election.
Rick Hasen at the Election Law Blog has the opinion. Breaking News: Federal Court Holds Texas Voter ID Law Violates Voting Rights Act:
You can read the unanimous 56-page opinion by Judge Tatel at this link.
The court has put in a scheduling order to address at a later date whether section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional.
Judge Tatel is among the most conservative judges of the D.C. Circuit Court. The continuing attempt by the state of Texas to challenge the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act portends an ominous fight in the U.S. Supreme Court in its next term.
The state's argument is that states like Texas with a history of discrimination against minority voters should not have to submit to DOJ preclearance of voting laws after all these years because discrimination no longer exists. Riiiight. Twice this week the D.C. Circuit Court has ruled that Texas still discriminates against minority voters, refuting the basis of the state's position.
The proliferation of voter suppression laws in GOP dominated state legislatures obviates the need for aggressive Voting Rights Act enforcement to protect the constitutional right of citizens to vote.