A federal court has ruled against a law in Texas that would require voters in that state to present photo identification before being allowed to cast a ballot in November.

According to CBS News:

A three-judge panel in Washington ruled Thursday that the law imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.

Our Voting Rights investigative reporter Brentin Mock said the following:

Texas brazenly defied the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for information proving that their photo voter ID law didn’t discriminate against voters of color. If that wasn’t enough, they consistently defiled the Voting Rights Act and are destined to take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes they can officially gut the Voting Rights Act once and for all. But the Voting Rights Act, one of the most important civil rights laws in our nation, was built precisely so that states could not recklessly develop election laws that would disregard the rights of its black, Latino and Asian citizens. Voter intimidation groups like True the Vote worked aggressively to have a strict photo voter ID law passed in Texas and I hope they are taking note of the judge’s opinion for why he denied the law. I also hope states like Pennsylvania, that aren’t subject to the Voting Rights Act Section 5 but have passed strict voter ID laws, will take note and understand how these laws are impacting the democratic rights of the citizens they are supposed to be protecting.

Read part of the opinion after the jump.

To satisfy section 5’s effect requirement, Texas must demonstrate that SB 14 will not “lead to a retrogression in the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise.” Beer v. United States, 425 U.S. 130, 141 (1976). For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we find that Texas has failed to make this showing—in fact, record evidence demonstrates that, if implemented, SB 14 will likely have a retrogressive effect. Given this, we have no need to consider whether Texas has satisfied section 5’s purpose element. Accordingly, we deny the state’s request for a declaratory judgment.

*For background on Texas’ challenge to the Voting Rights Act please read: *

ProPublica’s analysis of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

*And more from Colorlines.com: *

Texas’ Road To Victory in Its Decades Long Fight Against Voting Rights

Texas vs. Voting Rights, 1944 to 2012 [Infographic] Texas Wants to Say Adios to the Voting Rights Act’s Authority

Read this online at http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/08/texas_voter_id_law_officially_blocked_by_federalcourts.html


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