Tag Archives: voter id

Federal District Court for Texas again strikes down Texas voter ID law for intentional racial discrimination

Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, on remand from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, has again ruled (.pdf) that the voter identification law the Texas Legislature passed in 2011 was enacted with the intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters. Federal Judge Says Texas Voter ID Law Intentionally Discriminates:

In a long-running case over the legality of one of the toughest voter ID laws in the country, the judge found that the law violated the federal Voting Rights Act.

Judge Gonzales Ramos had made a similar ruling in 2014, but after Texas appealed her decision, a federal appellate court instructed her to review the issue once more.

The appeals court — the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans — found that Judge Ramos had relied too heavily on Texas’ history of discriminatory voting measures and other evidence it labeled “infirm” and asked her to reweigh the question of discriminatory intent.

In her ruling on Monday, Judge Ramos wrote that the evidence cited by the Fifth Circuit “did not tip the scales” in favor of the state.

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En Banc Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral argument in Texas Voter ID case

Lawyers for the state of Texas today defended that state’s discriminatory voter ID law before an en banc panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Veasey v. Abbott. Link to Oral Argument.

The Texas Tribune reports, In High-Profile Case, Texas Defends Its Voter ID Law:

VotersStanding before all 15 members of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller argued that judges were wrong to conclude in two previous rulings that the Texas Legislature discriminated against minority and low-income voters in passing a 2011 law that stipulates which types of photo identification election officials can and cannot accept at the polls.

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Lawyers representing the U.S. Department of Justice, minority groups and other plaintiffs disagreed, asking the judges to affirm what a lower court — and a three-judge panel in this same courthouse — previously concluded: that Senate Bill 14 has a “discriminatory effect” on Hispanic, African-American and other would-be voters in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Only a handful of judges asked questions at length on Tuesday, making it difficult to know where the majority stands. But the 5th Circuit is considered among the nation’s most conservative, with 1o of its members having been appointed by Republican presidents.

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SCOTUS gives 5th Circuit Court of Appeals a deadline to decide Texas voter ID case

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to stop Texas from enforcing its strict photo ID requirement for voters in the state in an upcoming run-off election, but left open the possibility that it might change its mind later. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog reports, Texas voter ID law left in effect — for now:

SupremeCourtThe order in essence gave a federal appeals court until July 20 to decide a case about that law’s validity under the federal Voting Rights Act.  After that date, the Court might step in, it said.

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The new order does these things: first, it denied the request to block enforcement immediately; second, it noted that it was aware of the pressure of time before the November election; third, it told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that if it has not acted in any way on the pending en banc review of the controversy “on or before July 20,” any “aggrieved party” disappointed by that inaction could ask the Justices for temporary legal protection; and, fourth, it also said that any “aggrieved party” could ask the Court to step in before the July date if there were a change in circumstances that would bear upon the enforcement issue.

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Voter ID trial in North Carolina

WillimaBarberThe voter I.D. trial in North Carolina got underway on Monday. This is Part II to the Voting Rights Act trial from last July, a decision in which is still pending and is likely to decided together with the voter I.D. trial.

On Tuesday, the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Mondays Movement testified at trial. State NAACP president takes stand in photo ID trial:

The Rev. William Barber, president of the N.C. NAACP, took the stand Tuesday on the second day of the federal trial on North Carolina’s photo ID requirement.

Barber reiterated the organization’s opposition to the photo ID requirement and, under cross-examination, defended the state NAACP’s efforts to educate people, not only about the photo ID requirement but also about options they have under the law if they don’t have a photo ID.

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Voter ID trial opens in North Carolina

WillimaBarberA two-week trial of North Carolina’s election law — one of the most sweeping changes in voting practices in the country since the U.S. Supreme Court dealt what critics consider a blow to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — came to a close at the end of July last year, and a decision on whether the law discriminates against racial minorities was left to U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder. Closing arguments in North Carolina Voting Rights Act trial.

Most court observers believed that Judge Schroeder would issue a ruling before the end of the year, which did not happen.

A separate voter ID trial is scheduled to begin today. NC voter ID trial set for Jan. 25:

On the eve of [the Voting Rights Act] trial, the legislature amended the voter ID portion of the overhaul to allow voters to cast provisional ballots without one of six specified photo identification cards. Because the change came so close to the start of the summer trial, the judge told the parties he would wait to hear arguments on that portion of the case.

It now appears that the Court may join these two cases into one opinion. North Carolina’s primary election is in March 15, so time is of the essence.NC voter ID trial opens in Winston-Salem:

The trial over North Carolina’s voter ID law is set to begin Monday in front of U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder, a federal judge who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2008.

The legal battle is one of several being watched across the nation as courts address questions of the fairness and lasting impacts ID laws have on voting rights.

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Voter ID pushers are completely full of it

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

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The Arizona Eagletarian has already dealt with TownHall columnist Mona Charen’s pile of malarkey defending voter ID laws that appeared in Thursday’s Arizona Republican. I would add that the study that right wingers have been passing around like a doobie at a Willie Nelson concert that purportedly “proves” that a significant number of non-US citizens are registered to vote has been fact-checked and found to be lacking in conclusive evidence. Continue reading