Federal Judge Rejects Texas' Revised Voter ID Law

25 August, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon  KUT

The Texas Legislature made changes to the law during its session earlier this year, codifying that fix, but the judge found those changes did not negate the discriminatory objective of the original law.

Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton called the court ruling "outrageous" and said the state would appeal it.

Paxton said the Department of Justice "is satisfied that the amended voter ID law has no discriminatory goal or effect". Safeguarding the integrity of elections in Texas is essential to preserving our democracy. "The district judge's opinion to the contrary violates Supreme Court precedent, and I trust that the Fifth Circuit will reverse it on appeal". Ramos said the law violates the Voting Rights Act and the 14th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution.

The Justice Department filed a brief last month asking the court to halt action against the Texas voter ID law, saying the state's new law fixed discriminatory issues of the state's 2011 voter ID law.

The injunctions are another blow to Texas' track record on voter rights. "It doesn't matter how many times the state tries to dress the law in sheep's clothing - its intent is to discriminate and prevent hundreds of thousands of eligible voters from casting ballots".

Ramos also criticized the law for not expanding the types of photo IDs permissible for voting, despite the fact that Texas has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. Ramos affirmed her decision in April.

Judge Ramos, however, wrote today that "Defendants and the United States have failed to sustain their burden of proof that SB 5 fully ameliorates the discriminatory goal or result of SB 14".


Retooling the law this spring, the Legislature added a provision that voters without an acceptable ID could still vote if they signed an affidavit.

In the revised version, the Texas Legislature allowed voters who did not possess an approved ID were allowed to fill out a Declaration of Reasonable Impediment (DRI), explaining the reason they did not have an ID.

Paxton argued that Texas couldn't be held liable for adopting the judge-drawn rules, but Ramos said Paxton presented no evidence that the changes fixed problems with the law.

Gonzales Ramos continued: "SB 5 perpetuates the selection of types of ID most likely to be possessed by Anglo voters and, disproportionately, not possessed by Hispanics and African-Americans". It passed after Ramos ruling, but to the judge's chagrin, however, the list of seven required IDs did not change.

The Obama Dept. of Justice opposed the Texas law, known as SB 5, but under the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions supports it. "The federal district court's decisions rejecting SB 14 and SB 5 reaffirm the core objective of the hard-fought Voting Rights Act which sought to eliminate racially discriminatory barriers to voting no matter how they are disguised".

"The court has found that the SB 5 [Declaration of Reasonable Impediment] process does not fully relieve minorities of the burden of discriminatory features of the law", she wrote.

The ruling has the potential of putting Texas back under restrictions of the Voting Rights Act.

Recommended:



Popular

Hunt for AR Star Wars Characters During 'Find the Force' Event
That means you can take a photo or video standing alongside the likes of Admiral Ackbar (as demonstrated in the video above). Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi will be released in United Kingdom cinemas on 15th December 2017.

Salesforce.com Inc (CRM) - Deutsche Bank Maintains Rating And Updates Price Target
Its down 0.14, from 1.13 in 2016Q3. 588.03 million shares or 3.26% more from 569.46 million shares in 2016Q3 were reported. It improved, as 53 investors sold MS shares while 267 reduced holdings. 78 funds opened positions while 213 raised stakes.

Poll finds 64 percent of Michiganders 'embarrassed' by Donald Trump
On the flip side, 25 percent of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin voters said they were proud of Trump's behavior. The poll consisted of 795 MI voters, 773 voters in Pennsylvania, and 801 Wisconsin voters.

China, US militaries agree to boost ties to avoid war
Getting the North Korean government to agree would be no easy thing, and even if they did, the threat would not be eliminated. South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, is profoundly committed to reunification of North and South Korea.

Utkal Express train accident: Several coaches derailed | See pics
Even senior officers from National Capital Region (NCR), ambulances and doctors were also rushed to the site of the accident. He also declared ₹50,000 for those seriously injured and ₹25,000 for people with minor injuries.

In the wake of Charlottesville, a Boston "free speech" rally is underway
The Austin American-Statesmen reported organizers for the Rally Against White Supremacy estimated about 1,200 people were in attendance.

Dragon Ball FighterZ Story Mode Confirmed; Android 16, 18 Confirmed And More
More nuggets on the online portion of the game were also divulged, with six players participating in three-versus-three matches. As for Android 16, he was not present in Future Trunks' timeline, and he was Doctor Gero's first creation before 17 and 18.

Trump lawyer sends email Black Lives Matter 'terrorist' infiltration
Both rebelled against the ruling government. "Both were great men, great commanders and great Americans, " the email read . John Dowd forwarded an email from a well-known conspiracy theorist that called for protecting some Confederate monuments.

Peace with North Korea a 'possibility' says top United States general
Images of abject pain in the Korean War haunted Pastor Chongho Kim's father years after the conflict's armistice agreement. Throw on top of that the danger that Kim could use a nuclear weapon , and it's clear the United States can't strike first.

2 dead, 8 injured in Finland stabbing attack
The knife attack appears to have focused on Turku's downtown as people were urged to avoid the city center of the Finnish city. One person has been "apprehended", Finnish police said, adding "several people had been stabbed" in two squares in the city.