Federal Court Rejects Texas Voter ID Law; State to File SCOTUS Appeal

A federal court in Washington, D.C. rejected Texas’ voter ID law on Thursday that would require voters to present photo IDs in order to vote in elections. 

A three-judge federal panel ruled that the voter ID law, which did not receive pre-clearance from the U.S. Justice Department, would impose "strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor," and noted racial minorities were more likely to be poor in Texas. 

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Texas would appeal the federal court’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

"Today’s decision is wrong on the law and improperly prevents Texas from implementing the same type of ballot integrity safeguards that are employed by Georgia and Indiana - and were upheld by the Supreme Court," Abbott said in a statement.

Under Section Five of the Voting Rights Act, Texas must receive pre-clearance for any law affecting elections. Texas had to prove its photo ID law would not deny or limit the ability of minorities to vote. 

The court ruled that Texas failed to demonstrate that the photo ID law, if implemented, would limit minority access to the polls.

“In fact, record evidence demonstrates that, if implemented, (the law) will likely have a retrogressive effect,” the court ruled. 


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