Is the Texas voter ID case on a fast-track to the Supreme Court?

by - September 23, 2014

Texas’ voter identification law, which was the focus of a federal trial that concluded Monday in Corpus Christi, could be on a fast-track to the U.S. Supreme Court before Election Day in November. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, a Democrat who was appointed to the post in 2011 by President Barack Obama, is expected to strike down the law, according to election law experts. The state would then appeal to the conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs, which include the U.S. Department of Justice, likely would lose that round and could ask for emergency relief from the Supreme Court — all possibly within the next six weeks. It’s a scenario laid out by Richard Hasen, a professor at the law school at the University of California at Irvine, who has been closely following the Texas case.

Source: Is the Texas voter ID case on a fast-track to the Supreme Court? |

Based on some of the judge’s earlier rulings, her appointment as a Democratic appointee, and reports from argument, I think there is a fairly good chance that the judge strikes down Texas’s voter id law under the Voting Rights Act. If that happens, the case would go to the 5th Circuit, where there could well be a reversal, given that the 5th Circuit has many more Republican appointees and is one of the most conservative courts in the country. The case could end up at the Supreme Court, although the 7th Circuit Wisconsin case and the 4th Circuit North Carolina case (not primarily about voter id, but about the meaning of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act) could get there first.

Source: Closing Arguments in Texas Voter ID Case: What’s Next? SCOTUS? | Election Law Blog

Lawyers for the U.S Justice Department and minority groups once again made the case that Texas' controversial Voter ID law improperly discriminates against Latino and African-American voters during closing arguments in federal court Monday. The state countered that the law is constitutional, popular and essential to combat voter fraud. However, cases of in-person voter fraud, which a law like this would help prevent, are exceedingly rare. Plaintiffs' attorneys have argued the voter fraud concerns are simply a rouse to impose new requirements that make it harder for minority voters to cast their ballots.

Source: Feds, state clash over Texas voter ID law - San Antonio Express-News

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