Supreme Court Upholds New Texas Voter-ID Law

Voters cast ballots in 2012.

The Supreme Court on Saturday ruled in favor of a controversial new voter-identification law in Texas, which can be used for the November election, the Associated Press reports.

The order came after a majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification to cast ballots, the report says. Early voting in Texas begins Monday.


Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented, preferring to leave in place a ruling by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, who struck down the law last week.

Ramos’ 143-page opinion, which was put on hold by an appeals court, determined that 600,000 voters—many of them black or Latino—might be turned away at the polls because they lack acceptable identification, AP notes.

Ginsburg, who wrote the dissenting opinion, agreed. “The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters,” she wrote.

The Texas law lays out seven forms of approved ID. The list includes concealed-handgun permits but not college student IDs, which are accepted in other states with similar measures, the report says.


The court has stepped into three other disputes in recent weeks over Republican-inspired restrictions on voting access, AP notes.

Read more at the Associated Press.

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