Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Voter ID on Trial in Texas

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, NYT
SEPT. 7, 2014

In April, a federal judge in Wisconsin invalidated that state’s voter-identification law, finding that it would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in a phony attempt to prevent a problem — in-person voter fraud — that does not exist.

Last week, the spotlight turned to the federal court in Corpus Christi, where the Justice Department and several advocacy groups are fighting Texas’ absurdly strict voter-ID law. Passed in 2011 by the Republican-dominated Legislature, the law accepts as proof of identity a concealed-weapon permit but not a student ID card.

Laws like these used to be blocked by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which required that the federal government preapprove any voting rules enacted by states and localities with a history of discriminatory voting practices. But in a destructive ruling last year, the Supreme Court rendered Section 5 useless when it struck down Section 4, which set the formula for covered jurisdictions, as unconstitutional.

Only hours after that ruling, Texas resurrected its voter-ID law, which had been stopped by Section 5.

(More here.)

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