IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Court rejects Texas voter-ID law

This is an important setback for Republicans' voter-suppression tactics.

A federal court on Thursday barred Texas from implementing a controversial voter identification law, saying the measure would likely curtail the ability of minorities to vote.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said the evidence showed the law's impact would "fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty."

The law, passed by the Republican-dominated Texas legislature in 2011, required voters to present one of six forms of photo ID before casting their ballots.

The entire ruling is online here (pdf).

As Bloomberg News noted, today's decision "marks the first time a U.S. court weighed in on the Obama administration's effort to use the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to block a state from requiring photo ID to vote."

The judicial panel*, by the way, was unanimous in the ruling, including the judge appointed to the bench by George W. Bush.

Speaking of voter-ID laws, the author of South Carolina's similar law admitted this week that while crafting the bill, "he had responded favorably to a racist email in support of the measure," reinforcing Democratic suspicions that the voter-ID laws have very little to do with non-existent voter fraud.

The South Carolina law is also in the courts, and federal ruling is expected before the election.

* edited