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Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:56 PM

Voter ID Trial starts on Monday, July 9 [View all]

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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Reply Voter ID Trial starts on Monday, July 9 [View all]
Gothmog Jul 2012 OP
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sonias Jul 2012 #2
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