In a blow to Texas Republicans, a federal court blocked a new controversial voter ID law that targeted low income and minority voters.
A three-judge panel in Washington ruled Thursday that the law imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.
Judge David Tatel, in writing the opinion, said today that under Section 5 the burden was on Texas to show that the law would not be harmful. Tatel said, “Uncontested record evidence conclusively shows that the implicit costs of obtaining [qualifying ID] will fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty.”
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott released a statement today vowing to appeal the decision.
“The Supreme Court of the United States has already upheld Voter ID laws as a constitutional method of ensuring integrity at the ballot box. Today’s decision is wrong on the law and improperly prevents Texas from implementing the same type of ballot integrity safeguards that are employed by Georgia and Indiana – and were upheld by the Supreme Court. The State will appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, where we are confident we will prevail.” ABC News 8/30/2012