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Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:56 PM

Voter ID Trial starts on Monday, July 9

The trial on SB14 before a panel of the DC Circuit starts on Monday. The Texas Redistricting blog has an update on this trial http://txredistricting.org/post/26649926862/photo-id-trial-starts-monday

Trial on the State of Texas’ request for preclearance of its photo ID law (SB 14) starts Monday in Washington before a three-judge panel.

The trial is expected to last a week, with the panel rendering a ruling by August 31.

The trial will address both the claims that the photo ID law has a disparate impact on African-American and Hispanic voters and that the law was enacted with “a discriminatory purpose: the disenfranchisement of Hispanic and black voters.”

The trial, however, will not address claims by the State of Texas that the preclearance requirements of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act are unconstitutional - an issue the court will take up in separate proceedings only if the court finds grounds to deny preclearance.

If the law is precleared by August 31, the State of Texas has said that it will still have time to implement the law for November 2012 elections.


The Court has scheduled this trial so as to allow some time to implement the law for the November elections. We may not know until August 31 the ruling of the court and may only have a limited time to get ready for dealing with a voter id law. If the Court rules in favor of the State of Texas, we can expect some mass confusion as to the implementation of SB14.

I have briefly looked at the proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law from both the DOJ and the State of Texas. The quality of the work product is clear. The DOJ has 80+ pages of detailed findings and Greg Abbott has less than 20 pages of rather vague and general findings. For example, according to Greg Abbott, one 92 year old lady who does not have a birth certificate would not be prejudiced by the law because she can vote by mail since she is over 65. The Texas Southern students who have out of state drivers’ license but no birth certificates are not prejudiced because they simply need to pay for and get their own birth certificate if they want to vote.

I did not see any discussion of whether requiring someone to pay for a birth certificate would constitute a poll tax. I hope that NAACP or the other litigants will be raising this issue.



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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Voter ID Trial starts on Monday, July 9 (Original post)
Gothmog Jul 2012 OP
Downwinder Jul 2012 #1
sonias Jul 2012 #2
Downwinder Jul 2012 #3
Gothmog Jul 2012 #4
onestepforward Jul 2012 #5
Gothmog Jul 2012 #6
sonias Jul 2012 #7
sonias Jul 2012 #8
sonias Jul 2012 #9
Gothmog Jul 2012 #10
sonias Jul 2012 #12
Gothmog Jul 2012 #13
Gothmog Jul 2012 #11
sonias Jul 2012 #14
sonias Jul 2012 #15
Gothmog Jul 2012 #17
Gothmog Jul 2012 #16
sonias Jul 2012 #19
Gothmog Jul 2012 #18
sonias Jul 2012 #20
sonias Jul 2012 #21
sonias Jul 2012 #22
sonias Jul 2012 #23
Gothmog Jul 2012 #25
sonias Jul 2012 #24

Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 06:10 PM

1. Does paying $40 cab fare round-trip to the closest DPS office

constitute a poll tax?

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 08:10 PM

2. Not in the eyes of republicans

Those arguments were made during witness testimony. That and the fact that of the 254 Texas counties about 80 of them do not have a DPS office.

Colorlines 3/13/12
DOJ Texas Voter ID Ruling Is No Surprise Given State’s Faulty ‘Colorblind’ Policies
(snip)

Texas has no driver’s license offices in almost a third of the state’s counties. Meanwhile, close to 15 percent of Hispanic Texans living in counties without driver’s license offices don’t have ID. A little less than a quarter of driver’s license offices have extended hours, which would make it tough for many working voters to find a place and time to acquire the IDs. Despite this, the Texas legislature struck an amendment that would have reimbursed low-income voters for travel expenses when going to apply for a voter ID, and killed another that would have required offices to remain open until 7:00 p.m. or later on just one weekday, and four or more hours at least two weekends.


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Response to sonias (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 7, 2012, 08:00 PM

3. So, what ad do I get At the top of the page?

Protect Voter ID in Texas
Stand with David Dewhurst. Sign the Voter ID petition today.
www.DewhurstForTexas.com/Voter-ID

----------

I clicked on it to run the costs up.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 12:12 PM

4. Same Google Ad is on the top of this Houston paper article

I saw the same google ad on the top of this Houston paper article on the trial http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Texas-voter-ID-fight-back-in-federal-court-3690870.php Dewhurst and the GOP need to win this case to keep Texas a red state.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 03:51 PM

5. Here's a positive piece of information about this case:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/08/texas-voting-rights-justice-department

-snip-

Texas may face a struggle to win its case.

In May, Alabama challenged the validity of the voting rights act over a justice department block on the redrawing of constituency boundaries.

A US appeals court judge, David Tatel, said in rejecting Alabama's case that the implementation of the Voting Rights Act is legitimate because it is intended to stop racially motivated disenfranchisement which he called "one of the greatest evils".

Tatel is sitting on the bench hearing the Texas case this week.


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Response to onestepforward (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 05:06 PM

6. This is a good panel for this lawsuit

One of the other judges is on the panel hearing the Texas redistricting case. Common wisdom is that this is a very good panel for the DOJ and a bad panel for the State of Texas

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #6)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 10:57 AM

7. Goof to hear that

I'm hoping for a good result for voters - which of course means DOJ winning and GOP/Texas losing.

May the voting rights force be with us!

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:00 AM

8. Witnesses in the photo ID trial

Texas Redistricting Blog 7/7/12
Witnesses in the photo ID trial

Justice Department and Defendant-Intervenors (in order to be called):

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer
State Rep. Rafael Anchia
State Sen. Carlos Uresti (by video deposition)
Professor Morgan Kousser
Professor Henry Flores
Lydia Camarillo
Victoria Rodriguez
State Sen. Rodney Ellis
Randall ‘Buck’ Wood
Rev. Peter Johnson
Dr. David Marker
State Sen. Wendy Davis
Dr. Allan Lichtman
Professor Stephen Ansolabehere


Good line up for our side. the other side is listed too, but they're all losers.

Go DOJ!

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 06:12 PM

9. Texas voter ID trial opens


Politico 7/9/12
Texas voter ID trial opens

(snip)
In March, the Justice Department Civil Rights Division refused to clear the Texas law, known as Senate Bill 14, saying Texas officials had failed to prove that it wouldn’t adversely affect minorities

As the trial got under way in a packed courtroom, DOJ trial attorney Elizabeth Westfall went even further, arguing that the federal government will show racial motivation in Texas’s passage of the law.

“The facts will convincingly demonstrate the discriminatory purpose and effect of Senate Bill 14,” Westfall told the three-judge panel in her brief opening argument in a trial expected to last through Friday.

A lawyer for Texas countered that there’s no evidence of discriminatory intent and that the law is needed to prevent voter fraud.


Go DOJ!



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Response to sonias (Reply #9)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 06:26 PM

10. Greg Abbot had outside lawyer open

I was amused to see that Greg Abbott did trust his staff to make the opening statement and is relying on outhouse or outside counsel http://www.bartlit-beck.com/lawyers-AdamMortara.html

I am confused. The DOJ is claiming that up to 1.4 million people lack the required id and now the attorney for the State of Texas is stating that no one does not have the required id http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78242_Page2.html

Mortara said that the scenarios in which voters lack the identification they would need to vote under the new law are more theoretical than real.

“It’s really quite difficult to find anyone who’s registered to vote who doesn’t have photo ID,” he said. “There are almost no people registered to vote in Texas who don’t already have photo ID.”


The above statement is contrary to the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law where the State of Texas conceded that Dorthy Tates does not have the required ID and can not get the required ID due to a lack of a birth certificate. The claim that registered voters lack the required ids is really a bold statement that should be easy to disprove

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #10)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:40 AM

12. Texas republicans live in a fantasy world

They lie so often that they can't keep their lies straight. So they have to bring in the back benchers or outsource their lies to outside firms so not trip up in their own lies.

I also noticed that the Secretary of State has a new elections director.


The first witness called by the state was Brian Ingram, director of the elections division for the Texas secretary of state.

(snip)
On cross-examination, Westfall established that Ingram has been in his job only since January and had no prior experience in election administration.

“You’ve never been to a polling place to observe an election?” she asked.

“That’s correct,” Ingram said.


That's very interesting. The prior elections director had been there for a very long time. Wonder if she was just not willing to lie under oath for them.




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Response to sonias (Reply #12)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:50 AM

13. Normally you put your best witness of first

Normally, you try to start this type of trial with a strong opening witness. This guy was weak but may be the best that the State of Texas has to offer.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:38 AM

11. Remember Texas is the Plaintiff and has the burden of proof

All of the witnesses presented yesterday were from the State of Texas. Texas is the plaintiff in this case and has the burden of proof of showing no discriminatory effect. The evidence of voter fraud presented was very weak and reminds me of the dead voters list in South Carolina. Every so often the GOP will claim that dead people are voting in elections and these claims are always debunked http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/01/31/415258/sample-list-of-south-carolinas-dead-voters-shows-no-ballots-actually-cast-by-dead-people/

In many ways, this is the major problem: “dead voter” claims are sexy, getting reported far and wide nearly every election. Yet when the allegations are inevitably shown to be false, far fewer news outlets follow up. As a result, many people never learn that dead voters didn’t taint South Carolina’s recent elections.

Every few years, officials undertake the same Scooby Doo-routine, claiming to have uncovered damning evidence of dead voters, only to ultimately conclude that simpler explanations account for the inconsistencies. Just like Maryland and California in 1994, Georgia in 1998, or New Hampshire in 2004, South Carolina is the latest state to put on the “dead voter” Kabuki performance.


If this is the best that the State of Texas has on on this issue, then I am hopeful that SB14 will not be in effect for the November elections

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 11:01 AM

14. Exactly - Texas has the burden of proof

And all they can point to is alleged voter fraud evidence which has been highly exaggerated. So the rolls are filled with more voters than are age eligible - so frigging what? How many dead people are actually voting? Voter turnout barely breaks 20% and they're worried dead people are voting.

If the problem is getting exact, complete voter registration rolls then there is an answer - it's called universal voter registration. The burden to put all eligible voters and keep up with their name changes and moves is on the government. It keeps the rolls pretty clean and increases voter participation by having the most accurate voting rolls possible. But that's the complete opposite of what republicans want - they want the lowest possible voter participation - so they can stay in power.

Thanks for the trip down zombie voter lane!

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:33 PM

15. Holder Calls Voter ID Laws ‘Poll Taxes’

Talking Points Memo 7/10/12

Holder Calls Voter ID Laws ‘Poll Taxes’

Attorney General Eric Holder deviated from his prepared remarks during a speech before the NAACP on Tuesday and called voter ID laws “poll taxes.”

“Under the proposed law, concealed handgun licenses would be acceptable forms of photo ID, but student IDs would not,” Holder said. “Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them, and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them. We call those poll taxes.”


I agree!

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Response to sonias (Reply #15)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 07:44 PM

17. These laws are poll taxes

There are some clear differences or distinctions between the Texas act (SB14) and the Indiana law upheld by the SCOTUS. In particular, under the Texas law one can not get a free id without a birth certificate. Justice Stevens approved the Indiana law in part because one could provide alternative documents to get the free id . http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=07-21&friend=nytimes In footnote 18 of Justice Stevens opinion, the fact that the Indiana statute did not require birth certificates was important to the court

Footnote 18

As petitioners note, Brief for Petitioners in No. 07-21, p. 17, n. 7, and the State's "Frequently Asked Questions" Web page states, it appears that elderly persons who can attest that they were never issued a birth certificate may present other forms of identification as their primary document to the Indiana BMV, including Medicaid/Medicare cards and Social Security benefits statements. http://www.in.gov/faqs.htm; see also Ind. Admin. Code, tit. 140, §7-4-3 ("The commissioner or the commissioner's designee may accept reasonable alternate documents to satisfy the requirements of this rule").


There is a good state court case from the Missouri Supreme Court that held that any law that requires one to pay for a birth certificate in order to vote is a poll tax. http://www.advancementproject.org/news/newsletters/democracy-in-action-volume-october-2006/the-missouri-supreme-court-declares-missour

I am hoping that the Department of Justice will be arguing that the Texas act is indeed a poll tax in the trial that is taking place in DC. I think that the facts and law support this position.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 07:41 PM

16. State of Texas having issues with case

There were a couple of threads on this forum concerning the State of Texas being difficult and delaying production of documents. At one point, the DOJ asked for the trial to be delayed and the court nearly granted that requests. After these threads there were no further filings or hearings on this issue and I was wondering what happened. It seems that Texas still has not produced all of the require documents and now is paying the price for such bad conduct. http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2012/07/latino-lawmakers-say-texas-voter-id-law-a-hardship-for-minorities/

A delay in the quick tempo of the proceedings through objections by lawyers for the state drew a rebuke from District Judge Rosemary Collyer.

Collyer said Texas has failed to provide documents on time to the Justice Department to prepare for the trial “again and again and again.”

She cut off the objections by state lawyers, and said Texas would receive “no sympathy from the court.”


The State of Texas has pissed off the court and now is paying the price for such bad conduct. It is clear from the judge's comments that Texas has continued to push matters and now will not be given the benefit of the doubt as to any documents that were not timely produced to the DOJ. Given the past conduct of the State of Texas, I am not surprised at the reaction from the court.

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #16)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 12:35 PM

19. "Texas has failed"

This has just been the standard m.o. for Texas under Perry's republican administrations. And anytime they try to take their road show nationally (i.e. Perry's run for presidency) the glaring spot light shows every ugly failure.

Texas continues to be laughed at across the land. Thank you idiot ricky perry!


On the other hand their incompetency is good for voters of Texas and across the land. This case will set some precedent I hope. And no more states subject to the VRA will move any closer than Texas did at trumping up voter fraud to disenfranchise voters.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 10:03 AM

18. J. Christian Adams (bushie idiot) is not happy with trial

J. Christian Adams is an idiot who was hired in the DOJ during the Bush administration. He was hired solely for political reasons by bushie idiots who broke the law to hire political hacks like Adams. Adams is too stupid to have been hired except for political reasons. Adams later left the DOJ due to the so-called "New Black Panther" stupidity where he claimed that Attorney General Holder showed preference in that case. Now Adams is counsel to the King Street Patriots, a tea party group who trains "poll watchers" who go to polling places to attempt to intimidate non-white voters.

J. Christian Adams is not happy with how the trial is going and thinks that the State of Texas will not meet its burden of proof. http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2012/07/10/texas-voter-id-on-life-support/?singlepage=true

Numerous knowledgeable courtroom observers sitting in on the Voter ID trial in Washington tell me that Texas Voter ID appears to be doomed. Four things are working against Texas.

First, it appears that each side has rushed their cases, and both sides seem ill-prepared. This hurts Texas more than it hurts DOJ because Section 5 contains a burden shift. The burden shift requires Texas to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it has a clean soul — that there was absolutely zero discriminatory intent, and zero discriminatory statistical effect, in passing voter ID. That is really tough to do on an accelerated schedule.....

If there is any discriminatory effect on minorities, Texas likely loses under the law. But worst of all, the fog about the real numbers may kill Texas.

Why? Because Texas has the burden of proof.

Second, the biggest thing working against Texas is the burden shift and the 2006 Voting Rights Act reauthorization. The reauthorization required states to prove an absolute absence of any discriminatory intent or effect. “Any” was added in 2006. If, for example, blacks have photo ID statistically in lower numbers than whites, that is a discriminatory effect. I’ve posted the roll call vote for the 2006 reauthorization before. Suffice to say very few Republicans voted against it. Among those who did were Steve King (Iowa), Trent Franks (Arizona), and Louie Gohmert (Texas).


The State of Texas should not be able to meet its burden of proof here. I love the fact that even a political hack like Adams know that things are not going well for the State of Texas

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #18)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 12:38 PM

20. I'm hoping Photo Voter ID for Texas is doomed too

Let's bury it - burn it at the stake. Along with those political hacks like Christian Adams.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 09:36 AM

21. Harvard professor: Texas' voter ID law would disproportionately affect minorities

AAS 7/12/12

Harvard professor: Texas' voter ID law would disproportionately affect minorities

WASHINGTON — Testimony in a weeklong trial that will determine the fate of Texas' controversial voter ID law wrapped up Thursday with an expert witness for the Justice Department telling a federal court that the law would affect minority voters more than white ones.

Steve Ansolabehere, a Harvard University professor and expert in statistics and elections, said his research shows the 2011 Texas law is more likely to affect black and Hispanic voters than white ones.

Under cross examination, he acknowledged the limits of his research when pressed by lawyers for the State of Texas and three judges hearing the case. Ansolabehere said there could be "legitimate critiques" of his research and that tweaks could make it more precise.

Lawyers for Texas had argued that Ansolabehere's research methods were flawed. On cross-examination, they presented him with some names from a list of people he had said could be affected by the law. They included people who were well-known, such as former President George W. Bush and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

On Wednesday, Daron Shaw, a professor of political science at UT-Austin, said there was no evidence that requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls disproportionately affects one race or would affect turnout.


Our expert says there will be an impact, their expert says no. I just wonder who the judges will believe.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 09:40 AM

22. Testimony wraps up in Texas Voter ID law trial

Ft Worth Star Telegram 7/12/12

Testimony wraps up in Texas Voter ID law trial

WASHINGTON — Testimony in a week-long trial that will determine the fate of Texas' controversial voter ID law wrapped up Thursday with an expert witness for the Justice Department telling a federal court the law would affect minority voters more than white ones.

Steve Ansolabehere, a Harvard University professor and expert in statistics and elections, said his research shows the 2011 Texas law is more likely to affect black and Hispanic voters than white ones.

He then seemed to back pedal on that claim under cross examination, noting the limits of his research when pressed by lawyers for the state of Texas and three judges hearing the case. Ansolabehere acknowledged there could be "legitimate critiques" of his research and that tweaks could make it more precise.

Lawyers for Texas had argued that Ansolabehere's research methods were flawed. On cross-examination, they presented him with some names from a list of people he had said could be affected by the law. They included people who were well-know, such as former President George W. Bush and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.


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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 04:44 PM

23. Judges Seem Ready To Mess With Texas’ Voter ID Law


Talking Points Memo 7/13/12
Judges Seem Ready To Mess With Texas’ Voter ID Law

WASHINGTON — A panel of three federal judges in D.C. posed skeptical questions on Friday about Texas’ voter ID law during closing arguments in a trial about whether the measure is discriminatory.

The panel of federal judges — Bush nominee Rosemary M. Collyer, Clinton nominee David S. Tatel and Obama nominee Robert L. Wilkins — hopes to issue a ruling on the case in “short order,” according to Collyer, who expressed doubts about the findings of Texas’ experts in the case.

John Hughes, a lawyer for Texas, argued in his closing arguments that people who want to vote already have an ID or can easily get it. Hughes argued that if the state’s voter ID law really disenfranchised anyone the D.C. “courtroom would be filled” with Texans who couldn’t obtain voter ID.

In one of the more awkward exchanges, Hughes offered a semi-defense of literacy tests after one judge said that the reason literacy tests were racist years ago was because of inequalities in the education system. The judge asked if it was Texas’ theory that there would be a problem with literacy tests today. Setting aside other laws banning literacy tests and poll taxes, Hughes said he did not believe a literacy test would violate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

When a judge noted that some voters would have to travel 120 miles to the nearest DMV to obtain a voter ID, Hughes argued that people in those areas had to travel “long distances to do any number of things.” The judge pointed out that people who live more than 100 miles from a courtroom aren’t even allowed to be subpoenaed because it is “unduly burdensome,” but Hughes argued that traveling far distances was a “reality to life of choosing to live in that part of Texas.”


Setting aside other laws banning literacy tests and poll taxes, Hughes said he did not believe a literacy test would violate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Get that? The lawyer defending Texas and the voter suppression law does not think literacy tests are a violation of voting rights!

These wingers are nut bags!!!

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Response to sonias (Reply #23)

Sat Jul 14, 2012, 04:17 PM

25. I smiled at this also

It is a not good sign when you are asked to defend literacy tests

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 05:08 PM

24. Texas Voter ID trial: closing arguments

Dallas Morning News Trailblazers blog 7/13/12
Texas Voter ID trial: closing arguments


(snip)
Texas officials, he argued, never even tried to find out how many voters or would-be voters would be impacted by the law’s photo ID requirement. Given that the burden of proof rests with the state to show there is no discriminatory intent or effect, he argued, that’s a fatal flaw.

“Even if you have 200,000 people, and you don’t know that the race is, the only conclusion is there is an unlawful racial burden,” Colangelo argued, noting that blacks and Hispanics in Texas are three times more likely to live in poverty.

(snip)
The presiding judge, Judge Rosemary Collyer, noted that the state of Texas bears the burden of proof in the case to demonstrate that the new law does not violate federal civil rights law, either because of an intent to discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity, or by having the effect of tamping down minority voter participation.

Collyer promised a ruling in short order. Lawyers in the case expect that to come by the end of August or even within a month. It’s unclear if Texas officials could implement it in time for the November presidential election if they win, and whichever way the panel decides, the case will almost certainly be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.


I think this is looking good for Texas voters and should be another loss for Abbott and the Texas republican mafia crew.

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