A three-judge panel in Washington ruled today that Texas’ voter ID law, SB 14, imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor”. In the opinion the Judges state: “The State of Texas enacted a voter ID law that—at least to our knowledge—is the most stringent in the country.
We are grateful for the decision issued today by the 3 Judge bi-partisan panel sitting in D.C. The panel looked at the evidence objectively and applied the law to the facts. It is notable that the bi-partisan opinion concluded that intentional discrimination existed in the manner that the State of Texas drew the new Congressional districts for each of the African American representatives from Texas. The opinion quoted each of the 3 African American Congresspersons in regards to how the economic engines were taken out of their districts, as well as how their Congressional offices were all taken out of the districts drawn by the Legislature. Of important note to the panel was the fact that all white Congresspersons maintained their districts, presenting a stark contrast. This opinion further demonstrates the continued need for the Voting Rights Act, particularly Section 5 of that Act.
Today the Texas NAACP along with the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) filed to intervene in the Texas Voter ID case to be heard in D.C. District Court. The law passed during the 83rd Legislative session sets up unnecessary and harmful barriers that would disenfranchise thousands of voters in the state of Texas, a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act. This is the next chapter in the NAACP fight to ensure that all eligible citizens are able to to express their voice by voting. We believe that every vote is important and we will continue to fight to make sure that all voices will be heard.
“It is essential that we join together and stop the implementation of the voter identification law passed by the State of Texas,” stated Gary Bledsoe, president of the NAACP Texas State Conference. “There are enough laws on the books in Texas to deal with the infrequent incidents of improper voting that have occurred over the years. This new law is a clear-cut attempt to suppress minority votes and stymie minority participation in our democracy, which is the same problem we confront with redistricting. These matters clearly illustrate why it is so important that the Voting Rights Act maintain its viability.”
Below you can find what was filed to intervene in the lawsuit as well as the letter from the Department of Justice denying preclearance.
Texas NAACP Voter ID Comment Letter to DOJ
Texas NAACP 2nd Voter ID Comment Letter to DOJDepartment of Justice Voter Id Denial Letter
Applicants Certificate Required
Applicants Motion to Intervene
Memorandum in Support of Motion to Intervene