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  • The Patriot News

Federal Court Rejects Texas Voter ID Law

Of course this ruling makes sense…we want the Illegals to be able to vote!

A federal court today rejected a Texas law that would require voters to present photo IDs to election officials before being allowed to cast ballots in November.

A three-judge panel in Washington unanimously ruled that the law imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.

The decision involves an increasingly contentious political issue: a push, largely by Republican-controlled legislatures and governors’ offices, to impose strict identification requirements on voters. Texas’ voter ID rules, approved in 2011, had been widely cheered by conservatives statewide.

Republicans around the country, including Pennsylvania, are aggressively seeking similar requirements in the name of stamping out voter fraud. Democrats, with support from a number of studies, say fraud at the polls is largely non-existent and that Republicans are simply trying to disenfranchise minorities, poor people and college students — all groups that tend to back Democrats.

Thursday’s ruling almost certainly prevents the Texas law from going into effect for the November election, but state Attorney General Greg Abbott said he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court “where we are confident we will prevail.”

In the Texas case, the Justice Department called several lawmakers, all of them Democrats, who said they detected a clear racial motive in the push for the voter ID law. Lawyers for Texas argued that the state was simply tightening its laws. Texas called experts who demonstrated that voter ID laws had a minimal effect on turnout. Republican lawmakers testified that the legislation was the result of a popular demand for more election protections.

The judges in the voter ID case are Rosemary Collyer, an appointee of former President George W. Bush; Robert Wilkins, an appointee of President Barack Obama; and David Tatel, an appeals court judge appointed by former President Bill Clinton.

Tatel, writing for the panel, called the Texas law “the most stringent in the nation.” He said it would impose a heavier burden on voters than a similar law in Indiana, previously upheld by the Supreme Court, and one in Georgia, which the Justice Department allowed to take effect without objection.

The decision comes the same week that South Carolina’s strict photo ID law is on trial in front of another three-judge panel in the same federal courthouse. A court ruling in the South Carolina case is expected before the November election.

During an appearance in Houston in July, Attorney General Eric Holder said Texas’ photo ID requirement amounts to a poll tax, a term that harkens back to the days after Reconstruction when blacks across the South were stripped of their right to vote. The attorney general told the NAACP that many Texas voters seeking to cast ballots would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain the required photo ID.

Last December, South Carolina’s voter ID requirement became the first such law to be rejected by the Justice Department in nearly 20 years. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the attorney general made a “very serious error” by blocking it. Romney said the requirement is easy to meet and will stem voter fraud.

“We don’t want people voting multiple times” and “you can get a photo ID free from your state. You can get it at the time you register to vote,” Romney said.

This year, Pennsylvania enacted its own law, and voting-rights groups who filed suit in an effort to stop it are appealing to the state Supreme Court. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13 in Philadelphia.

The Republican administration of Gov. Tom Corbett says a U.S. Justice Department inquiry into the state’s tough new voter identification law is politically motivated. The department is requesting the state’s voter registration list, plus any database of registered voters who lack a valid photo ID that the law requires voters to show before their ballots can be counted.

Election administrators and academics who monitor the issue said in-person fraud is rare because someone would have to impersonate a registered voter and risk arrest. A report by the Brennan Center for Justice determined that new voting restrictions could suppress the votes of more than 5 million young, minority, low-income and disabled voters.

– Published by The Patriot News  August 30, 2012

One Response

  1. Hello there I very much enjoyed reading your piece. However, as sure as anything else I am experiencing difficulty as to why the Federal Court overruled the Texas law. What I am alleging is that just because a ‘special interest group’ of legislators –all Democrats no less (that’s a jury of our peers, right?) said that “blah, blah, we sense racial disenfranchisement…” Moreover, they had the audacity to present “studies, supporting no fraud at the polls, AND that Republicans were conspiring to cut out the little guy who the Dems typically represent.

    Have you read the Texas law? Don’t feel bad, we’re too busy as it is; I am sure that not one judge on the panel read the Texas law either.

    The ugliest thing that presents itself is the notion that in order for Texas to moderately ensure that any one of 4.5 million illegals living there don’t vote the state is on the hook for more bucks! If you get a chance to read the Texas law you can bet I will ask: Why does Tatel, writing for the panel, called the Texas law “the most stringent in the nation.” He said it would impose a heavier burden on voters than a similar law in Indiana, previously upheld by the Supreme Court, and one in Georgia, which the Justice Department allowed to take effect without objection. So I am assuming that this judge says “Okay re Indiana and Georgia….but hell Texas yours is the most stringent?”

    Romney’s read the law and he is quite correct in his assertion that “We don’t want people voting multiple times” and “you can get a photo ID free from your state. You can get it at the time you register to vote,” Romney said. However, in Texas they extended the deadline by which a person could get a photo ID to 30 days after the vote.

    Sorry for the length, I have a passion when it comes to matters of voting.

    jon-paul

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