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Government/Politics

Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter ID Law To Stand During Upcoming Election

The US Supreme Court gives Texas’ Voter ID law the green light. It allows the state to enforce a law requiring voters show one of seven government-issued IDs in order to cast a ballot. Plaintiffs arguing against the constitutionality of the law have vowed to take the full case back before Supreme Court justices.

A majority of justices agreed with a US 5th Circuit decision to stay a federal district judge’s order to block the enforcement of voter ID in Texas. They said not doing so, for now, would lead to greater voter confusion.

But as part of the dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote, “The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.”

San Antonio Democratic Rep., Trey Martinez-Fischer, is head of the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus. The caucus is one of the minority groups to have joined the federal Department of Justice in its argument that the law is unconstitutional in its implementation.

“We have to measure the harm, and to be quite honest with you, if one person who has a constitutional right to vote is denied because of a law that has not been fully analyzed by the court, well not only does the voter lose but democracy loses,” said Martinez-Fischer.

He contended that over 600,000 Texas voters were considered economically disadvantaged, with limited transportation and living in a county without a Department of Public Safety Office.

Martinez-Fischer said, “We know this, we know that elections matter and every vote counts. And quite frankly people are registered to vote today and do not have an idea and we have no remedy for them.”

He believes there is still a good a chance the Supreme Court will agree to hear oral arguments concerning the full case once the 5th Circuit Court renders a decision. But that won’t be until after the general election on Nov. 4.  

Twenty states, including Texas, require a person to show proof of a photo ID before casting a ballot.