Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Still No Appeal To Decision To Void Texas' Voter ID Law

A few weeks ago, the full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the odious Texas Voter ID law -- saying it discriminated against minorities. They sent the case back to the U.S. District Court in San Antonio so a decision could be reached on how to implement their decision.

At that time, plaintiffs and the state of Texas came to an agreement. That agreement stated that anyone who was on the voter registration rolls could vote -- as long as they showed a voter registration card, or some other kind of ID to show they were the person on the voter rolls (and that ID could be something as innocuous as a gas or electric bill in their name -- and no photo was required on the ID used). They also agreed that no voter could be challenged unless there was proof that they were not the person listed on the voter rolls.

I had thought the matter was finally over, but last week Attorney General Paxton made a big deal out of announcing that the Circuit Court's decision would be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Oddly enough though, no appeal has been filed (even though it is only about 10-11 weeks until the election is held). This is very unusual for Paxton, as the Lone Star Project tells us:

In the past Paxton has announced new lawsuits or appeals AFTER they’ve already been filed.  For example, when he announced a challenge to the federal government directive regarding school bathrooms—he issued a press release the day he filed the lawsuit.  The same was true in a petition filed against the EPA in June—Paxton issued a statement the day after the petition was filed in federal court.

It seems to me that Paxton has no intention of appealing. The man is stupid, but not so stupid as to think that appeal could succeed in the current divided Supreme Court. It is doubtful the appeal would even be heard by the court, and if it was, it would end in a 4 to 4 tie (which would uphold the Fifth Circuit Court's decision). It is also extremely unlikely any appeal could be heard and determined before the election. In short, an appeal would be a waste of time and money.

So what is Paxton doing? He's trying to keep the GOP's teabagger base happy in the short time until the election. The Republicans will probably win Texas, but it's closer than in the past -- and they can't win if a lot of angry teabaggers stay at home instead of voting. This appeal is just a political ploy.

NOTE -- The photo above of Attorney General Paxton is the mug shot at the Collin County Jail when he was arrested a little over a year ago and charged with three felonies (which are still pending).

Paxton is charged with two first-degree felonies related to accusations that he failed to disclose he was being paid by a McKinney technology firm when he encouraged investors to buy into the company. He is also charged with a third-degree felony for failing to register as a broker when he connected clients to a friend’s investment firm, which he admitted to publicly. 

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