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Appeals Court Brings Back Texas Voter ID Law

David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio

Bringing a temporary halt to the swinging fortunes of the state of Texas’ controversial voter ID law, a three-judge panel at the U.S. 5th Circuit Court on Tuesday decided to reinstate it for the moment, staying an injunction on the law last week by a district court judge.

Ruling that the change in state election law happened just three weeks from the November election, the panel said it was too late to make changes before this election cycle. 

However, one of the ruling judges, Justice Costa, wrote: “The district court issued a thorough order that found Texas law was discriminatory and the 5thCircuit should be reluctant to allow the law to stand this close to a state election, but that they were bound by recent Supreme Court decision regarding court granting injunctions on the eve of an election.”

Early voting in the state begins October 20. Plaintiffs in the case argued that the law adversely affected minority voters, who, for instance, might not have transportation to go and obtain a state-issued photo ID in order to vote.

Earlier this month, a Corpus Christi Federal District Judge, Nelva Gonzales-Ramos, agreed with that view as she struck down the state’s 2011 law. She stated that the law was discriminatory and those that helped pass it, stood, in some part, to benefit from the disenfranchisement of minority voters.