On Wednesday, a federal appeals court ruled over Texas’ strict voter ID law, saying that it had violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The Voting Rights Act was a piece of legislation signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
One report by The New York Times says that this was the fourth time in almost four years that the court found the Texas law discriminated against black and Hispanic voters. Last year, the law was ruled as unconstitutional before it was appealed again.
Several minority groups sued the state over the law, along with some Democratic lawmakers, all who have applauded the decision.
This is also the second time in two months that Texas has found to deliberately put a law in place that was ruled as attempting to take away rights from various groups, such as with the Supreme Court ruling of the state’s anti-abortion law as being against women, as covered by the Inquisitr.
In that case, the state’s response to the court’s ruling over the abortion decision is similar to their response to the ruling that they were in violation of the Voting Rights Act, which were both met with outrage from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, which he expressed in a press release on his site.
“The 5th Circuit rightly reversed the lower court’s finding of discriminatory purpose, but wrongly concluded the law had a discriminatory effect. Voter fraud is real, and it undermines the integrity of the election process. As Attorney General I prosecuted cases against voter fraud across the State, and Texas will continue to make sure there is no illegal voting at the ballot box.”
Greg Abbott was Texas attorney general in 2011 and helped put the law in place when Governor Rick Perry was in office, claiming that voter fraud was a big problem. But, many say that it’s another attempt to make it harder for minorities to vote since they normally vote for the Democratic Party to go with the state’s efforts to redraw districts and gain a better advantage at the ballot.
The new attorney general, Ken Paxton, who is currently under investigation, also responded to the court’s decision.
“Preventing voter fraud is essential to accurately reflecting the will of Texas voters during elections, and it is unfortunate that this common-sense law, providing protections against fraud, was not upheld in its entirety.”
The reports state that if the court had found that there was, in fact, a discriminatory purpose in the passing of their voter ID law, they would have forced judicial oversight of any changes to the election rules. But they’ve sent the ruling back to a lower court judge to look into the possible discrimination with the suggestion to wait until after the election.
However, the court did say that they would like to somehow disrupt the possibility of discrimination during the voting period this year. The Inquisitr recently reported on the problems the Republican Party is having attracting a large percentage of minorities in elections.
The Voter ID law requires that voters present identification when voting, and in many cases, there are people who do not have the documentation required as the courts found that 608,000 registered voters did not have an ID such as drivers license, military ID, handgun license or a passport.
Violations of the Voting Rights Act could also spread to other states such as North Carolina, who have enacted similar voter ID laws while also claiming rampant voter fraud.
[Photo by Eric Gay/AP Images]