Wednesday, October 15, 2014

 

Texas voter ID law applies for November elections, federal appeals court says

A federal appeals court on Tuesday temporarily reinstated Texas’ voter ID law, which the U.S. Justice Department had condemned as the state’s latest means of suppressing minority voter turnout.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows the law to be used in the November election, despite a lower judge’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit did not rule on the law’s merits; instead, it determined that it’s too late to change the rules for the election.

The judge said the Supreme Court has repeatedly told courts to be cautious about late-hour interruptions of elections. Early voting starts Oct. 20.

“It will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the state to adequately train its 25,000 polling workers at 8,000 polling places” in time for the start of early voting, the appeals court wrote.
While some voters may be harmed, the greater harm would come in potentially disrupting an election statewide, the court said.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund promised a quick appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling represents a temporary but key victory for Republican-backed photo ID measures enacted across the U.S. in recent years. Last week’s ruling from U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos — an appointee of President Barack Obama who likened the law to a poll tax designed to dissuade minorities from voting — remains under appeal.

The Texas law, considered the toughest of its kind in the nation, requires that an estimated 13.6 million registered voters show one of seven kinds of photo identification to cast a ballot. The Justice Department says more than 600,000 of those voters, mostly blacks and Hispanics, lack eligible identification.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who had sought an emergency ruling from the conservative-leaning appeals court, is on the ballot as the GOP nominee for governor.

Abbott spokeswoman Lauren Bean called Tuesday’s ruling “the right choice to avoid voter confusion.”
A Justice Department spokeswoman said the agency was reviewing the opinion and declined immediate comment.

Texas Democrats decried the ruling.

“An intentionally discriminatory law should not be allowed to remain in effect,” said Texas Democrat Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa.

Nineteen states have laws requiring voters to show identification at the polls. Courts across the country have knocked down challenges, including at the Supreme Court.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder brought the weight of his office into Texas after the Supreme Court last year struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, which had prevented the state from enacting its voter ID law.

The full Voting Rights Act had blocked Texas and eight other states with histories of discrimination from changing election laws without permission from the Justice Department or a federal court. Holder vowed to wring whatever protections he could from the weakened version, and made Texas a first target.

Abbott, who is favored to win against Democrat Wendy Davis to replace Rick Perry as governor, said the law has support from minorities and whites alike. His office also pointed to states such as Georgia and Indiana, where similar measures have been upheld.

But opponents slammed Texas’ law as far more discriminatory. College student IDs aren’t acceptable, but concealed handgun licenses are. Free IDs offered by the state require a birth certificate that costs as little as $3, but the Justice Department argued that traveling to get those documents imposes a burden on poor minorities.

Opponents say Texas has issued fewer than 300 free voter IDs since the law took effect, while Georgia has issued 2,200 under a program with more robust outreach.

Davis criticized Abbott for continuing to support a law that a judge ruled discriminatory.
“It’s nothing more than a ‘poll tax,’ which means democracy and all Texans lose,” Davis said.

Tags : ,

Share

Social

The idea behind the text.
Respect for the truth is almost the basis of all morality.
Nothing can come from nothing.



Follow

Popular Topics

Read

Well, the way they make shows is, they make one show. That show's called a pilot. Then they show that show to the people who make shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they're going to make more shows.

Like you, I used to think the world was this great place where everybody lived by the same standards I did, then some kid with a nail showed me I was living in his world, a world where chaos rules not order, a world where righteousness is not rewarded. That's Cesar's world, and if you're not willing to play by his rules, then you're gonna have to pay the price.

You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder. After the avalanche, it took us a week to climb out. Now, I don't know exactly when we turned on each other, but I know that seven of us survived the slide... and only five made it out. Now we took an oath, that I'm breaking now. We said we'd say it was the snow that killed the other two, but it wasn't. Nature is lethal but it doesn't hold a candle to man.

You see? It's curious. Ted did figure it out - time travel. And when we get back, we gonna tell everyone. How it's possible, how it's done, what the dangers are. But then why fifty years in the future when the spacecraft encounters a black hole does the computer call it an 'unknown entry event'? Why don't they know? If they don't know, that means we never told anyone. And if we never told anyone it means we never made it back. Hence we die down here. Just as a matter of deductive logic.