Federal judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled Monday that the Texas voter ID law passed in 2011 was enacted with the intent to discriminate against Black and Hispanic voters, reports The New York Times.
From The New York Times:
Her [Ramos] ruling [from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas] sets the stage for a potential penalty for Texas that could have a long-lasting impact. She did not issue a separate order striking down the law and did not use the phrasing in her ruling on Monday. But election law experts said it serves as precursor…
Judge Ramos acknowledged the difficulty of pinning down the Legislature’s motives. She wrote of considering “all available direct and circumstantial evidence of intent” rather than trying to “discern the motivations of particular legislators.” The judge highlighted attempts by Democrats to blunt the racial impact of the law, known as Senate Bill 14, through amendments that were ultimately rejected, including allowing additional types of photo identification. “Many categories of acceptable photo IDs permitted by other states were omitted from the Texas bill,” she wrote…
Judge Ramos’s decision, she said, “should sound the death knell for burdensome voter ID requirements in Texas and across the country.”
The ruling against the law — which required voters to show a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot as well was previously found by the appellate court to have a discriminatory effect on Black and Hispanic voters who lacked government-issued photo identification — could mean that Texas would have to clear any changes to its voting protocols with the federal government, reports The Hill.