Texas Puts Voter ID in Effect After Supreme Court Ruling
Now that the Voting Rights Act can no longer stop it
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2013 6:21 PM CDT
Texas Gov. Rick Perry.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – Here's one tangible result from today's Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act: Texas is going to require voters to have photo IDs "immediately," says state attorney general Greg Abbott. “Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government," he adds, according to DallasNews.com. Prior to today's court ruling, the state was one of nine that needed to clear such changes in advance with the feds. Not any more, or at least not until Congress comes up with a modern formula to determine which states and localities need that kind of "preclearance." The prospects of that happening in this Congress? Slim to none, reports the Washington Post.

As a result, DMV offices in Texas will begin issuing free photo IDs to anyone who needs one—people without drivers' licenses, for example—as of Thursday. Without them, people won't be able to vote. The state passed its voter ID law in 2011, but the Obama administration blocked it from going into effect—citing the Voting Rights Act—and it's been hung up in the courts ever since. In fact, an appeal is pending at the Supreme Court, but the state thinks it now has the right to move forward. (The ACLU concedes that the state has a "very strong argument.") Critics say voter ID laws in general discriminate against minorities and low-income voters. Now, it appears that the only legal challenges to them in Texas and elsewhere will have to come after the fact, once they've been implemented, reports the New York Times.

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Showing 3 of 233 comments
Lefty_Libby
Jun 26, 2013 7:13 PM CDT
'It only took a few hours for TEXAS to move forward on its voter ID law which requires Texans to prove their citizenship and their state residency. To qualify, you must present a passport ($55) or a copy of your birth certificate, which not all Americans, particularly older ones, have.' So, if your birth certificate gets taken out by a Katrina-type event, an F-5 tornado, an explosion, fire, etc., tough luck. You're not voting in Texas. Or, if you're an oldster who was birthed at home, and no certificate was filed -- ditto. Yeah, it's real easy to vote in Texas. Gather up your non-existent birth certificate, put your $55 passport fee in your pocket, schedule a passport photo, find out if there's a DMV within 50 miles of your house and which one or two days they're open. Try to get there before closing, and apply for one of those real easy to get, free Texas photo IDs.
KennyLLC
Jun 26, 2013 3:54 PM CDT
"Obama Boss and the Supremes" simply don't want border states to have any say-so over their inundation of illegal immigration, and have tried their best for over a century and a half to present the entire south as a bunch of hackneyed bigots with no concern for human life over 28 weeks old. I think it is time to secede.
Lefty_Libby
Jun 26, 2013 3:48 PM CDT
WASHINGTON, D.C. Earlier today, a three-judge panel issued a ruling in Texas v. United States denying preclearance under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act for three Texas statewide redistricting plans. Because Texas is a covered jurisdiction under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Attorney General or a three-judge panel must "preclear" any redistricting plan before it can take effect. Texas sought a judgment from the court that its redistricting plans are not discriminatory. Today’s decision denies preclearance and prevents Texas from implementing the maps, which were enacted in the 2011 legislative session. In its ruling, the three-judge panel found that: the Congressional Plan reduces Latino voting strength and was enacted with discriminatory racial intent; the State House Plan reduces minority voting strength; and the State Senate Plan was enacted with discriminatory racial intent. NOTE: This is why VRA was enacted. BTW, the Supremes just usurped the role of Congress, and didn't mention what part of the Constitution they thought VRA violated.