Victory for Texas Voters: Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Blocking Photo ID Law | Brennan Center for Justice
Texas voters scored a major victory today when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found the state’s restrictive photo ID requirement violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The ruling means Texas’s ID law, the strictest in the country, was found invalid by a third federal court. The Court also sent the case back down to the district court for further consideration of the claim that the law intentionally discriminates against minority voters.
In October 2014, following a lengthy trial, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos struck down Texas’s strict photo ID law on the grounds that the Texas legislature enacted the law with the purpose of discriminating against minority voters. According to Judge Ramos’s ruling, the ID requirement denied African Americans and Latinos the same opportunity as white voters to cast a ballot, in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and imposed unconstitutional burdens on the right to vote. She also found approximately 608,470 registered voters do not have the kind of photo ID required under Texas’s law. Texas appealed the ruling, and the law was allowed to stand and disenfranchise voters during the November 2014 election while the appeal was pending. But today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Ramos’s decision that the law violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.