Friday, the Fifth Circuit gave the hotly contested Texas voter ID law the go-ahead.
After several rewrites, the latest version of the law passed legal muster.
From the Dallas Morning News:
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Texas’ revamped voter identification law can go into effect.
In its 2-1 decision, the appeals court reversed a lower court’s ruling which had blocked the controversial voter identification law after the Legislature had made changes to it in 2017.
“The Texas legislature passed a law designed to cure all the flaws cited in evidence when the case was first tried. The legislature succeeded in its goal,” the ruling written by Judge Edith H. Jones read. “Yet the plaintiffs were unsatisfied and successfully pressed the district court to enjoin not only SB 14, but also the new ameliorative law (“SB 5″). Because the district court’s permanent injunction and order for further relief abused its discretion, we reverse and render.”
Judge James E. Graves, Jr., a Barack Obama appointee, dissented in part from the majority opinion.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded the court’s decision.
The 2011 law has been bouncing through the court system for years. Mary blogged a year ago:
A federal judge has again rejected the 2011 Texas voter ID law, stating that the legislators meant to discriminate against minority voters.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos made this same ruling in 2014, which forced an appeal. The Fifth Circuit issued a stay against the order. The Supreme Court stepped in and allowed Texas to use the voter ID law.
But last July the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans asked the judge “to re-examine the decision” since the judges found that “some of the evidence used by the judge wasn’t relevant.” The two sides reached a deal for the 2016 election, which allowed a voter to “sign a declaration swearing that he or she has had a reasonable difficulty that prevented obtaining one of the accepted forms of photo identification.”
Ramos went back to the drawing board but came to the same conclusion.
The law was again rewritten in an attempt remove what was deemed “discriminatory language,” only to be shot down yet again.
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