Texas voter ID law blocked by federal judge
Just weeks before the mid-term elections a federal judge in Corpus Christi struck down on Thursday Texas’ contentious voter ID law, describing it as a “poll tax” and finding that it discriminated against minority voters.
Federal District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that the law violates the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act and barred the state from enforcing it in the coming November election.
“There has been a clear and disturbing pattern of discrimination in the name of combating voter fraud in Texas,” Ramos wrote in her opinion issued late Thursday.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office issued a statement shortly after the ruling was announced, promising to appeal the decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“The state of Texas will immediately appeal and will urge the Fifth Circuit to resolve this matter quickly to avoid voter confusion in the upcoming election,” the office said in a statement. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter ID laws are constitutional so we are confident the Texas law will be upheld on appeal.”
The timing of the judge’s ruling could spare an estimated 13.6 million registered Texas voters from needing photo identification to cast a ballot as mandated by the law. Early voting is scheduled to begin Oct. 20.