VICTORY: Federal Court Blocks Latest Version of Texas Voter ID Law
Texas's Modified Version of the Original Law, SB 5, is Just as Discriminatory as the Original SB 14, Court Says
A federal court in Texas today permanently blocked Texas latest version of its voter photo ID law, SB 5. Campaign Legal Center represents Texas voters in its challenge to the law in the case Veasey v. Abbott.
A federal court had already blocked the original Texas voter photo ID law, SB 14, from going into full effect during the 2016 presidential election. During the 2016 elections, an interim process was put into place as a “stop-gap” measure, allowing voters without the required photo ID to vote if they signed a declaration instead. In April of this year, the federal court held that the original law, SB 14, not only harmed minority voters in practice but was passed with the purpose of discriminating against minority voters. Because of this unconstitutional and purposeful discrimination, the court held today that both SB 14 and Texas’s amendments to the law in SB 5 must be invalidated.
Judge Ramos of the Southern District of Texas said Texas’s latest voter photo ID law, SB 5, keeps the same limited forms of photo ID required under SB 14 and therefore carries forward the same “discriminatory features” of the original SB 14 voter photo ID law. “Time and time again, federal courts have made it clear that Texas’s strict voter photo ID law is discriminatory,” said Danielle Lang, senior counsel for CLC. “It doesn’t matter how many times the state tries to dress the law in sheep’s clothing – its intent is to discriminate and prevent hundreds of thousands of eligible voters from casting ballots. Now, Texas must return to nondiscriminatory ID practices in voting, which do not require photo ID.”