The Court of Appeals rejects the revised version of the Texas voter ID law. Their claim still remains that the law discriminates against people of color. That may have been the last chance for that law.
According to Politico, a divided federal appeals court panel has thrown out a challenge to a revised voter identification law the state of Texas passed last year after an earlier measure ran into legal trouble.
In a 2-1 decision on Friday, a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel overturned a district court judge’s ruling that the 2017 law, known as Senate Bill 5, citing that it unconstitutionally discriminated against minority voters.
The Texas Tribune stated that in light of recent revisions to the state’s voter ID law, two judges on the three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals raised questions about claims that lawmakers intentionally discriminated against voters of color when they passed rules on which photo IDs can be presented at the polls.
That intentional discrimination claim, which a lower court affirmed this year, is key to the case over the state voter ID restrictions.
“If there is nothing that says we are trying to advantage white voters … isn’t that proof that there wasn’t discriminatory intent?” Judge Edith Jones, a Reagan appointee, said of the plaintiffs’ lack of a smoking gun to prove purposeful discrimination by lawmakers, despite thousands of pages of memos and transcripts of debates over the voter ID requirements.
“You have nothing,” she later added. “Not one stray word reflecting a racially bias motive appears.”
State attorneys have argued that the decision to block SB 5 was improper because “a new law requires a new challenge” and that legal claims against the original 2011 law are now moot. Additionally, they said, plaintiffs, cannot identify a single voter who faces a substantial burden of voting under the revisions.