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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Federal Court Strikes Down Texas’ Voter Suppression Law

Federal Court Strikes Down Texas’ Voter Suppression Law

Following on the U.S. Dept. of Justice finding last March that the Republican-enacted polling place Photo ID restriction law in Texas was discriminatory, in violation of the U.S. Voting Rights Act (VRA), a three-judge U.S. District Court panel has again blocked the law from being implemented.

The decision by the federal panel, which included one judge appointed by George W. Bush, was unanimous.

Texas had appealed the DoJ decision earlier this year, seeking a declaratory judgment from the court, after the federal agency had found the state had not met its “burden of showing that a submitted change [to an election law] has neither a discriminatory purpose nor a discriminatory effect,” under Section 5 of the VRA, which requires preclearance for new election laws in 16 different U.S. jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination. The Lone Star State is one of those jurisdictions.

The DoJ had determined that, based on the state’s own statistics, the law would have disproportionately disenfranchised registered Hispanic voters in the state. The found that registered Hispanics are anywhere from 46% to 120% more likely than non-Hispanics to lack the type of state-issued Photo ID that would have now been required to vote under the new law.

The 56-page ruling by the U.S. District court panel in D.C. today [PDF] found that “the law will almost certainly have retrogressive effect” as “it imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor, and racial minorities in Texas [who] are disproportionately likely to live in poverty.”

“Crucially,” the court added, “the Texas legislature defeated several amendments that could have made this a far closer case” when they ignored warnings that the law “as written, would disenfranchise minorities and the poor.”

In Texas, as Democratic lawmakers had pointed out while the bill was being debated, some registered voters would have to travel as far as 150 miles round trip to receive their “free” ID, presuming they owned or were able to afford buy the underlying documentation required to obtain that “free” ID. The burden would be especially difficult for those without drivers licenses in the first place.

The court blasted both the Republican lawmakers and the attorneys who presented their case. “Everything Texas has submitted as affirmative evidence is unpersuasive, invalid, or both. Moreover, uncontested record evidence conclusively shows that the implicit costs of obtaining [Photo ID that would satisfy the new law] will fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty. We therefore conclude that SB 14 is likely to lead to ‘retrogression in the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise.'”

This was the second stinging loss for Texas Republicans in one week. On Monday, their plan for Congressional Redistricting in the state, on the heels of four new seats gained after the 2010 Census, was also struck down by a three-judge federal panel for violations of the VRA…

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  • BDD1951

    We have a jerk for a governor and he will keep on trying to suppress the vote of the poorer people.

    • You mean trying to suppress voter fraud!

      • BDD1951

        Listen Mr. Redneck. You con’t live in Texas so don’t act like you know what’s going.

        • JackieAllen

          Thank You BDD!! I am a Texan!! My ancestors played an important
          part in establishing North Texas, some were Texas Rangers–I could
          go on. It is a shame on earth to see how my state has been so dishonored
          by wacko conversatives, and a laughing stock nation wide. Texas is now famous for being among other southern states, to require ‘checking on’ because of tendencies to discriminate against
          people of color. The GOP convention side show has demonstrated to
          the world, what kind of political party they have become!! Part
          Red Neck, part Tea Party loonies! Ignorance, bigotery!!!

      • johninPCFL

        50 cases in 200 million ballots. Who do you think you’re kidding.

    • jarheadgene

      Not only that he’s a coward…..He was the only one that was ready to challenge Willard’s Mormanism in the primary debates, but then backed off in a big way.

  • William Deutschlander

    Nice to know there are Judges inteligent enough to uphold the law and constitution, not to mention maintaining the right to vote and support Democracy in the U S A.

    • This Judge does not uphold the law when he uses his political believes to uphold voter fraud!

      • BDD1951

        One of those judges was appointed by GWB. He happens to be one of the very few honest republican judges.

  • I have to show I.D. to buy a six-pack, but requesting I.D. to vote is “voter suppression? Are you people for real?

    • johninPCFL

      Maybe you missed the part about travelling 150 miles (twice) to regixster. Then there’s that whole take a trip out of state back to your hometown and somehow buying a copy of your birth certificate from the hospital that burned down 50 years ago. You see, 75 year old blacks born in Birmingham now living in Austin don’t have those. They’ve never needed them.

      And, no, you didn’t always have to show a photo ID. You appeared in person at the registration office with a bill with your name on it delivered by the post office to register. Then when you went to vote, you brought a similar, recent bill with you. A water bill, electric bill, tax bill, or similar.

      But you’ve got to stop them somehow. After all, they usually vote for Democrats.

      • Bear in mind that the GOP is demanding more than a birth certificate. They want PICTURE IDs, which in the USA narrows it down to a drivers license. Thy know that many minorities do not own a car and don’t have a driver’s license, they also know that a lot of African Americans like to vote early, often the Sunday before the election, and towards that end they decided to change our voting process 3 months before a presidential election demanding photo IDs and reducing the number of early voting days. Heck, the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, issued a blacklist that including mostly Hispanics, including many born in the USA and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. What people seem to forget is that most states require proof of citizenship and residency to register to vote.

        • johninPCFL

          You need the BC to get the driver’s license, or other state-issued photo ID. That’s the rub. I got my first driver’s license in FL with my report card from high school in 1972. Those days are long gone now.

          The thing in FL is that the purge list is pulled from unreliable databases that are slanted toward old homeowners. Students and renters make up 99.99999999% of the names.

      • NutCutter

        I missed that part about the birth certificate thing and the traveling…and the burned hospital…and the multiple trips of 150 miles.

    • AMADAL

      You are so full of it I’m sure your breath stinks. I have not had to show an ID to purchase alacohol or enter a bar in years. In fact, I have even been stopped by the police and have not been asked to show my ID. When they asked for an ID at the last election, I could have shown anyones ID and they would never have noticed it–they didn’t look at it, they just walked by to see if I had one in my hand. All I have ever needed to show at a polling place is my voter registration. Only when I did not have that with me was I asked for ID.

      • BDD1951


    • BDD1951

      Are you for real Mr. Redneck.

    • Bodine666

      Cons continually make absurd claims about the Constitution. I believe ‘unconstitutional’ is their second most used word. Of course 99.9% of the time cons claims are wrong, but that’s another story. The point being that whenever anything happens that cons don’t like, “That’s unconstitutional!”, comes flying out of their mouths. Cons have a legitimate opportunity to chant, “That’s unconstitutional”, here. The silence is deafening. Where is the outrage for the unconstitutional voter ID laws that deny Americans their right to vote?

      Buying beer is a privilege. Driving is a privilege. Voting is a Constitutional right. Not a privilege. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a state-issued ID requirement for voting. (How many times have we heard something like that come out of a cons mouth?)

      Ten cases of voter impersonation fraud in 12 years. Voter ID is a solution trying to manufacture a problem. Absentee voting is a much more likely way to commit fraud. No ID required for that! Curious. Maybe because repubs like that method of voting better?

      The problem is that the repub platform is so full of hate, xenophobia, misogyny, jingoism, and bigotry that most Americans are turned away by it. Repubs believe they cannot win a fair election, hence the imaginary problem of voter fraud. However, make no mistake about it, there is voter fraud. It’s the fraud repubs are perpetrating on the American people by illegally purging the voter rolls.

    • grammyjill

      they show id when they register. should not have to come up with it again. in urban areas most ride a bus. no drivers lience. therefore no id. get a clue.

  • Good. The same should be done in every state where the GOP has passed voter suppression laws. If the GOP is truly concerned about this issue, wait until after the election and let the Supreme Court rule whether or not denying Americans the right to vote is constitutional.

  • Yes!!!!!!!!!!!

  • desertdustoff

    Damn, what’s wrong with you crazy texans…you can’t even keep your Mexicans under control…no wait, maybe you can execute all of them. And what happened to good ol’ boy politicians controlling your federal courts? Seriously, I’m surprised the courts in texas did the right thing. Hey all you tea baggin’ fun dumb a mentalist rethuglicans…strike three and your out. And if you are keeping score as most of the good people in America are, that’s equal justice 2- redneck, kkkers O. Hoorah!!!

  • Landsende

    Living in Texas I’ve seen first hand how corrupt Perry and the republican legislature is. They will do and say anything to stay in power. Perry is a part time governor that spends very little time governing unless it’s to take away voters rights and push his political and religious agenda on the rest of us. Hopefully after seeing what a bumbling idiot he was during the presidential debates the voters will finally see the light and vote this bozo out of office especially now that he can’t legally suppress the vote although I’m sure he and the teathuglicans will try some other underhanded tactic.

    • BDD1951

      Count on it. But people in this state are so in love with the republican party that it is all they care about. Especially in the Victoria area. I’ll bet you that 90% don’t even know what the republican party stands for. They won’t even bother to find out, they’ll just vote.

    • grammyjill

      watch out for election fraud

  • JackieAllen

    Sir–have you checked out the REASONS why this law was struck down?? “There
    are none so blind, than those WHO WILL NOT SEE!

  • grammyjill

    Lets hope PA is next!

  • Melvin Chatman

    I’m actually SHOCKED!!
    Slick Rick got Busted?

  • How can ANYONE condone the suppression of people who are less fortunate than the suppressors? Or condone deliberate lies and misinformation all in the name of Party unity? Doesn’t the Bible teach that we should help those less fortunate than ourselves? How can these suppressors go to Church, proudly proclaim that they are good, upstanding Christians, all the while trampling on the very teachings they profess to uphold. How can they look in the eyes of their children, and explain to them that Bible lessons don’t really apply to politics or the constitutional rights of the poor,the minorities, or anyone who doesn’t live the “proper” lifestyle, as they define it? SHAME ON YOU AND YOUR HOUSE!!!

    Jim Myers