In 2011, the Texas legislature passed SB 14, the strictest photo ID law in the nation. For example, the law requires voters to present photo identification from a very limited list before being allowed to vote. A Texas concealed handgun license is acceptable, but an ID from a public university or a tribal identification card is not.
After a long procedural history, described in detail below, on July 20, 2016, the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision finding that SB 14 has a racially discriminatory effect in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, because the law disproportionately diminishes African Americans’ and Latinos’ ability to participate in the political process. The appellate court sent the case back to the district court to craft a rule for the November 2016 election that will remedy SB 14’s discriminatory results. The appellate court also reversed and remanded the district court’s discriminatory intent finding for further review and vacated the district court’s findings on plaintiffs’ poll tax and right to vote claims.
- En Banc Opinion (7/20/2016)
- Civil Rights Attorneys Attempt Block of N.C. Voter Bill (afro.com)
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 – 52nd Anniversary (propresobama.org)
- Decrying ‘Jim Crow 2.0,’ Advocates Demand Updated Voting Rights Before Election (commondreams.org)
- The real voter ID agenda (stltoday.com)
- A Guide To The Big Photo ID, Early Voting And Other Voting Law Cases (npr.org)