Voter Suppression

Texas Voter ID Law Struck Down, Again

Written by SK Ashby

Not to be confused with the first iteration of the law, the latest voter ID law passed by the Texas state legislature has been struck down.

The state legislature passed a new voter ID law to replace the first one that was struck down in court, but their replacement has now been thrown out because, according to U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, the new version didn't really change anything.

Minority groups suing the state had asked Ramos to scrap SB 5, saying it still dripped with discrimination — largely because lawmakers did not expand the list of acceptable IDs.

Ramos agreed in her ruling Wednesday.

“SB 5 does not meaningfully expand the types of photo IDs that can qualify, even though the Court was clearly critical of Texas having the most restrictive list in the country,” she wrote. "Not one of the discriminatory features of [the old law] is fully ameliorated by the terms of SB 5."

State lawmakers also added a provision imposing jail sentences on those who used an alternative form of ID to vote if the state found evidence that they lied about not possessing a regular ID. This represented an "effort at voter intimidation" according to Judge Ramos.

Now, I may have lost count, but if you include all the appeals I believe this is the 5th or 6th (7th?) time the state's voter ID law has been struck down. This process has already seen the inside of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals once and it may be headed there again.

I don't know if the Fifth Circuit will agree with the lower court again, but if I were a judge in that district I may start to feel like the state is insulting my intelligence.