Courthouse News Service: Texas House Reforms Voter-ID Law – But Legal Fight Looms


But Danielle Lang with the Campaign Legal Center – a nonpartisan nonprofit in Washington that represented the plaintiffs who successfully challenged SB14 in court – Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens and others told Courthouse News it’s up to Gonzales Ramos whether to put Texas’ election-law changes back under federal oversight...

She set a June 7 status conference in the case. Lang said she expects the judge to decide at that hearing or shortly thereafter whether to place Texas’ election rules back under the watch of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lang said Gonzales Ramos has broad discretion on the standards she could impose on Texas.

“She could order preclearance of all voting restrictions or she could limit it to things similar to Texas voter ID. For example, anything having to do with eligibility requirements,” Lang said in a phone interview.

Lang said the interim rules Gonzales Ramos approved for the November elections, which the Texas Legislature rolled into SB5, only addressed the Fifth Circuit’s concerns with SB14’s discriminatory impact – not her April finding on intent.

So Gonzales Ramos could order federal oversight even if SB5 becomes law, Lang said.

“The Fifth Circuit said that intent rulings usually require different and broader remedies,” Lang said. “So I think the court has a lot of unanswered questions about what the final remedy should be. But there’s no reason to assume SB5, even if it exactly mirrored the interim remedy, which it doesn’t, would be sufficient.”

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