Texas out to save ‘discriminatory’ voter ID, maps after court ruling [View all]
SAN ANTONIO — On Election Day in Texas, the mere act of voting would have been fresh flexing of Republican power: Show a photo ID, then cast a ballot in a political district likely drawn to favor GOP candidates.
The script has changed, though, with two federal courts sizing it up as minority discrimination.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry and party leaders returned from an upbeat Republican National Convention on Friday faced with the weightier task of trying to save two signature legislative pieces: a voter ID law that judges called the nation’s most stringent and a redistricting map that fortifies GOP power for the next decade — at a time when the rate of a booming Hispanic population is coming into sharp focus.
In back-to-back blows this week, a pair of Washington federal courts ruled that both plans ran afoul of the Voting Rights Act. State prosecutors filed notice of appeal Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court, where they predict victory.
It’s the boldest forecast anyone has made in wake of the rulings — including the political fallout, if any, of two opinions that very publicly concluded Texas passed a political map with “discriminatory intent” and a voter ID bill that would impose “unforgiving burdens on the poor,” who are disproportionately Hispanic or black.
State Attorney General Greg Abbott, whose personal Twitter page is splashed with the backdrop of the “Don’t Tread on Me” symbol, isn’t worried about the message the rulings might have sent the state’s fastest-growing demographic.