As election 2016 continues, voter ID laws – and their effects – keep making headlines. We wanted to draw your attention to a story developing out of Texas.
Here’s what’s happening:
The Campaign Legal Center recently called on the U.S. Supreme Court to take immediate action in the Texas voter ID case so voters will not be harmed by the law in the 2016 presidential election.
The application filed with SCOTUS follows the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ refusal to offer relief in time for the upcoming election.
Earlier this month, the appellate court effectively denied the Campaign Legal Center’s emergency motion to vacate its stay of a lower court’s ruling that struck down the law. Under the 5th Circuit’s order, the voter ID law will remain in effect as the case proceeds once again in the 5th Circuit, where it has languished since October 2014.
“Seven federal judges have ruled that Texas’ voter ID law discriminates against minority voters, but the law is still in effect,” said Gerry Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center. “The 5th Circuit has set up a schedule that likely forecloses our ability to obtain relief in time for the presidential election. We are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that that no one is prevented from casting a ballot because this discriminatory law is in place.”
The D.C. District Court, a Texas district court, and a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit have all found that the law discriminates against minority voters. The 5th Circuit’s stay of the district court’s decision in 2014 is the only reason the law is in effect.
“The stay was only granted because the District Court’s order was handed down days before the 2014 election and the 5th Circuit was concerned about changing procedures so close to the election. It should never have extended past 2014,” said Danielle Lang, legal fellow of the Campaign Legal Center. “The dangers identified by the court of appeals have passed, so there is no reason eligible Texas voters should once again be denied the right to vote.”