Valley Morning Star: Texas Voter ID law faces uncertain future


“If you have the most conservative federal court of appeals ruling 9-6 that the photo ID law on the books is violative to the Voting Rights Act, it seems to me ridiculous and a waste of taxpayer money and time to strengthen that law in a way that further suppresses minority voting rights,” Gerald Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center and an attorney for the plaintiffs in the voter ID case, said.

Chad Dunn, a Houston-based attorney who represented groups suing the state, agreed that a change in leadership in the Oval Office will not change the basic facts already in place about the state’s current legislation.

“I don’t really see how the Legislature can make changes for this law to make it even more restrictive than it already is under a court’s order and that not running afoul of what’s already being decided in this case,” Dunn said.

Along with a pending appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court, a lower federal court is also considering the law’s future. All plaintiffs and Texas will file briefs Friday to U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos to reassess whether there was discriminatory intent in Texas’ 2011 law. Ramos is scheduled to reach a decision by Jan. 24.

Hebert remained hopeful that those fighting the Texas law will ultimately succeed even under a Trump administration.

“We take our cases to federal judges who are appointed for life, and even though they might be appointed by presidents of a particular political party, they also look at the facts and apply the law,” Hebert said. “No matter who the president is, the law will apply faithfully to the facts, and that’s what we intend to do.”

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