D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court recently dealt a blow to Texas'
controversial voter identification law.
23, in Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, et al., Petitioners v.
Marc Veasey et al, the Supreme Court declined Gov. Greg Abbot's request to review the rejection of Texas Voter
ID law SB 14 by a lower court. The court offered no explanation for
its decision but noted that it would be free to reconsider the
decision in the future.
we are disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court did not immediately
take our case, Chief Justice Roberts made it very clear that the case
will be an even stronger posture for Supreme Court review after
further proceedings in lower courts. Texas enacted a common sense
voter ID law to safeguard the integrity of our elections, and we will
continue to fight for the law in the district court, the 5th
Circuit, and if necessary, the Supreme Court again,” said
Texas Attorney General in a statement released by his
is not the first blow that has been dealt to the law; in October 2015
a U.S. district judge ruled that it “constitutes an
unconstitutional poll tax.” Then in August of the same year, the
U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the law had
a discriminatory effect and that the state was not able disprove any
the earlier criticisms of the law.
its current form, SB 14 requires voters to present a Texas
driver's license, a Texas Election Identification Certificate, a
personal identification card, a Texas license to carry a handgun, a
United States military identification card, a United States
citizenship certificate or a U.S. passport, in order to cast
District Congressman Marc Veasey was named as the opposition to the
“I’ve fought Texas’ restrictive photo Voter ID law to
ensure that Texans have unfettered access to the ballot box,
especially a law that I knew from my time in the state legislature
would discriminate against minorities,” he told the Southeast
Campaign Legal Center, one of the first plaintiffs to file a claim
against SB 141, agrees with Veasey's assessment of the law.
clear from the beginning the law would have a serious impact on
minority voters in an unjustified manner,” Danielle
Lang, deputy director of voting rights at the Campaign Legal Center,
told the Southeast Texas Record.
“We feel it disproportionately effects the poor, minorities and the
elderly. And every court that has reviewed the law has agreed.”
She stated that according to the organization's findings, 6,000
registered voters would not have access to the necessary
identification under the law.
Veasey said voting laws should maintain
the presumption that the person appearing to vote is qualified to do
so and poll workers should not serve as arbiters of an individual's
fitness to vote.
their name is not on the voter roll and they have a voter
registration card or any other document indicating their address and
identity, they should be allowed to cast a regular ballot,” he
Texas Attorney General's office declined to offer further comment for