Voter ID laws in Texas and North Carolina were recently overturned by federal appeals courts, which found that the laws discriminated against minority voters. Both states have now decided to appeal those rulings to the United States Supreme Court.
North Carolina announced on Monday that they would be taking the issue to the Supreme Court. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on July 29 that North Carolina’s voter ID law intentionally discriminated against minorities and said that the law could not remain in effect for the general election in November. The state is now asking the Supreme Court to intervene and allow them to keep the discriminatory law in effect until after voters go to the polls on Nov. 8.
Attorneys for Gov. Pat McCrory argue that the law, which was enacted in 2013 and also limits early voting, should not be changed this close to an election.
On Tuesday, Texas followed suit and Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office announced they would be taking the state’s voter identification law to the Supreme Court as well. On July 20, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas’ voter ID law violated the Voting Rights Act and discriminated against minority voters. However, like North Carolina, Texas also wants the Supreme Court to keep their discriminatory law in place until after November’s election.
Paxton’s communications director, Marc Rylander, issued a statement that said the state had decided to appeal the decision.
To protect the integrity of voting in the state of Texas, our office will appeal the Voter ID ruling of the Fifth Circuit to the United States Supreme Court.
The ruling of the appeals court instructed the state to work with voting rights activists to find a compromise. An agreement was approved last week by a U.S. District Court judge that would allow voters who were unable to obtain an ID to still be permitted to vote if they could prove they lived in Texas and signed a declaration of citizenship.
It didn’t seem as if the state was going to appeal the decision and activists criticized their sudden turnaround. Matt Angle, who runs the Democrat-backing Lone Star Project, slammed the state for their fear of minority voters.
[Gov.] Greg Abbott, Ken Paxton and other Texas Republicans are terrified by the prospect that every Texan who can vote might vote, so it’s no surprise that they will spend more Texans’ tax dollars to defend a discriminatory law.
Critics of voter identification laws, which have been passed by Republicans in a number of red states during recent years, argue that these laws discriminate against minorities by making it harder African-Americans and Hispanics to cast their vote. Coincidentally, these voters tend to support Democratic candidates and lean to the left.
Supporters of voter ID laws insist that these restrictions are absolutely essential in order to prevent voter fraud, which just so happens to be virtually nonexistent.
Featured image via SouthernCoalition.org