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Federal court blocks Texas voter ID law

AP/Toby Talbo

Voters in Texas will not have to show photo ID in order to vote in November, following a ruling today by a federal court. A panel of three judges said the law puts "strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor" — particularly minorities.

Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called the decision "wrong on the law" and says Texas will appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court.

In response to the decision, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, "We are pleased with the court's decision to deny preclearance because of these racially discriminatory effects."

While giving a speech at the NAACP convention, Holder referred to the Texas' voter photo ID law a "poll tax."

"Texas has in many ways been at the center of our national debate about voting and civil rights issues...Under the proposed law, concealed handgun licenses would be acceptable forms of photo ID, but student IDs would not," Holder said in July. "Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them, and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them. We call those poll taxes."

Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry called Holder's poll-tax remarks an attempt to "inflame passions and incite racial tension."