Texas Voter ID Trial Opens in Washington with Legal Center Executive Director Representing Disenfranchised Voters
Today, the trial concerning a controversial Texas Voter ID law opened before a three judge panel in the federal court in Washington, DC. Campaign Legal Center Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert is part of the legal team defending against the State of Texas' effort to gain approval of a new photo ID bill in Texas v. Attorney General Eric Holder. Hebert represents a group of Texas voters who have intervened in the suit on the side of U.S. Department of Justice claiming they will be harmed by the new voter ID bill.
The State of Texas brought the suit after the U.S. Department of Justice determined the new law would harm minority voters and that the state did not prove the absence of racial purpose and did not grant it preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Under Section 5, Texas and a number of other jurisdictions with histories of voter discrimination are required to seek the approval of the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington DC in order to make changes to their voting procedures.
The State’s suit also challenges the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Several jurisdictions have challenged Section 5 in recent years. Earlier this year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld Section 5 in a challenge filed by Shelby County, Alabama.
The trial is expected to last five days.