Thursday, July 21, 2016

Conservative Court Overturns Texas Voter ID Law

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most conservative appeals courts in the United States (where 10 justices were appointed by a Republican), has overturned the odious Texas Voter ID law. They ruled that the law violated the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against Blacks and Hispanics.

The case has been in the courts for several years now. In 2014, a San Antonio district judge ruled the law invalid. The state of Texas appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and a three judge panel of that court upheld the district judge's ruling. Texas then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court did not make a ruling. Instead, they sent the case back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals for a decision by that full court. The full 5th Circuit court issued their ruling yesterday. But they did not say what should be done since the law was found to be discriminatory. They sent the case back to the district judge in San Antonio to formulate a remedy before the November election.It is not known what that remedy will be. It could be anything from tossing out the requirement for a picture ID to allowing a voter without ID to sign an affidavit and vote.

Texas could once again appeal to the Supreme Court, but they are not likely to get what they want from the eight-member court. The most likely result would be a 4 to 4 tie, which would just uphold the 5th Circuit court's decision.

It's been a long fight, but it looks like the Republican effort to suppress voting in Texas has finally been defeated.

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