Texas Voter I.D. Law Struck Down as Unconstitutionally Discriminatory, Violative of Voting Rights Act and a “Poll Tax”

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Tonight, a federal court struck down Texas’ Voter ID (SB 14) law as an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote in Veasey v. Perry.  Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Corpus Christi found SB 14 had “an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose.”  Further the court held that the law constituted an “unconstitutional poll tax.”  The Campaign Legal Center was part of the legal team representing voters and elected officials adversely impacted by the law.

“The Texas voter ID law was a truly disgraceful act by legislators who passed legislation dictating which Texans to disenfranchise, suppressing the ability of state’s minority communities to vote and thus choose their own representatives in government,” said J. Gerald Hebert, Executive Director of The Campaign Legal Center.  “Judge Ramos clearly recognized the law for its true discriminatory intentions and acted accordingly to strike it down for what it was in her thoughtful opinion. Choosing which voters will cast ballots and which voters will not for partisan gain and discriminatory purposes is behavior we expect from Third World dictators and Soviet-era despots not legislators and a governor in one of our own states.” 

The complaint filed by the Campaign Legal Center in the case claimed that the voter photo ID law (SB 14) violates the 1st, 14th, 15th and 24th Amendments to the Constitution, as well as Section 2 of Voting Rights Act.  Several challenges (including one brought by the United States) were brought against the Texas law, which was one of the most restrictive laws in the nation.  The cases were consolidated in the Southern District of Texas in Corpus Christi. 

The Campaign Legal Center is part of the legal team that includes Chad Dunn and K. Scott Brazil (Brazil & Dunn), Neil G. Baron, David Richards (Richards, Rodriguez & Skeith), Armand Derfner (Derfner, Altman & Wilborn), Luis Roberto Vera, Jr. (LULAC) and Craig M. Wilkins and Teresa G. Snelson (Dallas County District Attorney’s Office).

To read the court’s opinion striking down the law, click here.

To read the original complaint, click here.