Appeals Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

Posted: Jul 20, 2016 4:35 PM

The Fifth Court of Appeals has struck down Texas' voter ID law. The court found that the law violates the Voting Rights Act and was discriminatory towards minorities. The law required residents to show a photo ID in order to vote, and did not consider a school ID to be a valid form of identification--the strictest policy in the nation.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed previous rulings that the 2011 voter ID law — which stipulates the types of photo identification election officials can and cannot accept at the polls — does not comply with the Voting Rights Act.

The full court's ruling delivered the strongest blow yet to what is widely viewed as the nation’s strictest voter ID law. Under the law, most citizens (some, like people with disabilities, can be exempt) must show one of a handful of types of identification before their ballots can be counted: a state driver's license or ID card, a concealed handgun license, a U.S. passport, a military ID card, or a U.S citizenship certificate with a photo.

Texas is among nine states categorized as requiring "strict photo ID," and its list of acceptable forms is the shortest.

The law was first passed by then-Gov. Rick Perry (R) in 2011. It has faced numerous court battles since then.

Justice Don Willett, who is nearly as famous for his tweets as he is for his position on the Supreme Court of Texas, was blunt in his response: Texas loses.