Appeals court rules Texas can use new voter ID law
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A federal appeals court in New Orleans on Tuesday gave Texas its approval to use a revised version of the state's voter identification law during its November election, Politico reported.  

A panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 Tuesday to stay a lower judge's ruling, which blocked the state from enforcing a controversial voter ID measure, known as Senate Bill 5. 

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled last month that the voter identification measure was enacted with the intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters.


S.B. 5 was passed by the Texas legislature earlier this year in response to a court ruling that the state's original measure, Senate Bill 14, was too restrictive and racially motivated. That law requires registered voters to present one of seven forms of government-issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot.

S.B. 5, however, created alternatives for voters who said they could not "reasonably" obtain one of the forms of ID outlined in the initial bill. 

The judges on Tuesday said that Ramos had failed to consider S.B. 5 in light of whether it fixed the problems with S.B. 14, as the 5th Circuit had ordered in an earlier ruling. 

"The State has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits. S.B. 5 allows voters without qualifying photo ID to cast regular ballots by executing a declaration that they face a reasonable impediment to obtaining qualifying photo ID," Judges Jerry Smith and Jennifer Elrod wrote on Tuesday in the joint order provided by Politico.

"The State has made a strong showing that this reasonable-impediment procedure remedies plaintiffs’ alleged harm and thus forecloses plaintiffs’ injunctive relief."