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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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If you missed it…
Thursday, August 6, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano
In case you missed it (we don’t really think you missed it) yesterday, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Texas voter ID law that has been in place for the past four years has a “discriminatory effect” that violates federal law. The court’s decision sends the case back to a lower court, which will be asked to decide whether state lawmakers intended to discriminate in approving the law. A statement from Texas GOP Chairman Tom Mechler read, “Today’s ruling is simply one step in a legal process and doesn’t change the fact that Texas voters overwhelmingly support Voter ID as a commonsense policy to protect the sanctity of our electoral process. Simply put, most Texans know Voter ID is a vital component to conducting fair elections in our state. If Democrats really care about disenfranchising Texas voters they should ask their Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa to drop the voter fraud case that he has been defending for two years and that two separate courts of law have said violated the voting rights of Texans. Until the Chairman of the Texas Democratic Party stops personally taking part in legal cases that disenfranchise voters his words are meaningless and his entire party’s rhetoric is hollow.” On the other hand, Rebecca L. Robertson, legal and policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas, had this to say: “The 5th Circuit’s decision confirming that the harshest voter ID law in the country discriminates is a victory for democracy and too long in coming. This decision demonstrates how important the Voting Rights Act still is, even though the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby weakened it. Congress should restore the preclearance provisions of the Act so that discriminatory laws are stopped before they disenfranchise voters.”
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