Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court denied taking control over the Texas Voter Law, SB 14, and sent it back to the lower courts to make a quick decision.
The Obama administration and a handful of civil rights groups have been opposing the law, Texas SB 14, known as the law is the strictest voter ID law. The law was first passed in May 2011, eliminating 600,000 voters that lacked the proper identification and making it too difficult for others to obtain the necessary identification.
Judges have found the law discriminatory but the courts have refused to block it until a final legal ruling on it legitimacy is in place. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit will examine the law on May 24, with pressure from the Supreme Court’s order to make a final ruling quickly. The order states, “The court recognizes the time constraints the parties confront in light of the scheduled elections in November 2016. If, on or before July 20, 2016, the Court of Appeals has neither issued an opinion on the merits of the case nor issued an order vacating or modifying the current stay order, an aggrieved party may seek interim relief from this court by filing an appropriate application.”
The plaintiffs’ application to the Supreme Court says, “Every judge who has considered SB 14 has agreed that SB 14 has an impermissible discriminatory effect on minority voters.” The burdens “were built into the law, which sharply reduced the number and location of ID-issuing offices by replacing voter registration offices with the far fewer offices of the Department of Public Safety.”
Texas countered the plaintiffs’ argument saying, “Plaintiffs submitted no evidence of depressed voter turnout or registration – much less that any such effect on voting was caused by SB 14.”
The law restricts what kinds of IDs are accepted such as concealed carry IDs are acceptable by college IDs are not.