Federal Government No Longer Challenging Texas' Voter ID Law

Minorities and the poor, the appeals court said, were less likely to possess the type of ID required by the law, and the state's "lackluster" education campaign did little to prepare voters for the changes.

However, the judge denied that request and the hearing on whether the law was passed with discriminatory intent is still scheduled for Tuesday in federal district court in Corpus Christi.

Texas and the us had asked to delay Tuesday's hearing until state lawmakers considered new legislation filed in the current legislative session: state Sen. The Obama administration also opposed the law.

The seven acceptable forms of photo ID under the law include the following: a Texas driver's license; free Texas election identification card (EIC); Texas personal identification card; Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; USA military identification card; US citizenship certificate; and a USA passport. "It's a big deal when DOJ files a brief", said Allegra Chapman, director of voting and elections at Common Cause.

Last week, the Justice Department and the Texas attorney general's office asked Ramos to postpone Tuesday's hearing because Republicans in the Legislature filed a bill to revamp the Texas voter ID law to track numerous provisions the court required the state to employ to make sure people could vote in November if they were unable to secure a state-approved ID. More than 164,000 Texans signed this affidavit during the November election, though an analysis by the Associated Press found that at least 500 Texans voted through an affidavit even though they possessed one of the necessary forms of ID. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made the legislation a "priority", which allows it a faster track.




A spokeswoman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) declined to comment on the Justice Department's decision. Ramos granted that postponement, scheduling the arguments for February 28.

The new administration sent signals nearly immediately that it might switch sides. Wheeler is a strong proponent of voter ID laws and served as counsel to Vice President Mike Pence when Pence was the governor of Indiana. "There have been six years of litigation and no change in the facts".

Opponents have argued that more than 600,000 Texas voters would experience difficulty voting because they lacked a suitable ID under the law.

The DOJ had previously argued exactly that. "Private plaintiffs will continue to pursue justice in this matter", she declared. The acting head of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division has already recused himself from the case because he offered Texas lawmakers advice on writing the law. The lawsuit claims that Republican lawmakers intentionally sought to discriminate against voters of color in the Lone Star state.

In a 2014 ruling, Ramos found that Texas meant to discriminate, but the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals - in a ruling affirming the law's discriminatory effect - instructed Ramos to reconsider the evidence.

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