Courthouse News: Fifth Circuit Stays Injunction Against Texas Voter ID Law


A divided Fifth Circuit gave Texas a boost this week in its quest to enforce its voter ID law, staying an order that struck down the law as discriminatory.

Senate Bill 5 is a watered-down version of a voter ID law that both U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos and the Fifth Circuit found more likely to disenfranchise Hispanic and black voters than whites. Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 5 in June and it’s set to become law in January 2018.


Danielle Lang, who represents Texas’s opponents in the case, expressed confidence Wednesday that the Fifth Circuit will eventually block SB 5.

“This is a motions panel determination on an emergency basis and does not reflect any final determination of the merits. Indeed, the Fifth Circuit initially stayed Judge Ramos’s order in 2014 but ultimately ruled against Texas twice,” Lang said. She works for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit Washington firm.

“Judge Ramos’ opinion is supported by the record and by the Fifth Circuit’s en banc decision last year and we believe it will be upheld. SB 14 is an intentionally discriminatory law, as is SB 5,” she said.