Federal Judge Forced To Decide If Texas Voter Law Is Racist

April V. Taylor

Texas has historically been a state with some of the most discriminatory and racist voting policies, and the state currently has a voter ID law that is on federal trial in Corpus Christi.  The law went into effect on January 1, 2012 and was then struck down by a federal court.  When the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the historic Voting Rights Act in 2013, the controversial law was reinstated.  The part of the Texas law currently under review will in part determine whether or not Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act actually has any real impact.  Section 2 is the part that bars racial discrimination in voting.

The Texas voter ID law requires voters to present one of the following forms of ID when they show up to vote: a driver’s license or state ID card, a license to carry a concealed gun, a U.S. military ID card with aphoto, a U.S. citizenship certificate with a photo, a U.S. passport, or a state election certificate (meant to be used when a person does not have any other form of accepted ID.)  The law is being challenged by a number of groups including the Department of Justice, the NAACP, and various other voting and civil rights groups.  These groups are challenging the law in part because they claim that the law will disenfranchise around 787,000 Texans, most of whom are Black or Hispanic.

Part of what is making it hard for these groups to prove their case is that no racist language was used in the writing of the law.  It is a paradox faced by many who try to prove racism.  How can a person or group of people prove racism if no racist language was used?  Attorneys representing those challenging the law pointed to Texas’ racist history of politics and policy that have made use of white-only primaries, poll taxes and the discriminatory redrawing of electoral district lines.  A federal three-judge panel ruled as recently as 2012 that Texas had acted in a way that discriminated against minority voters.  The voter ID law currently under consideration was actually passed by the same 2011 legislature that passed the policy that was ruled discriminatory.

Closing arguments in the case were given early this week.  The case will be decided by Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.  Plaintiffs in the case hope that she will issue her decision well before elections to be held November 4th.




25 Comment

  1. If this case goes before the U.S. Supreme Court the voters have lost. The 5 Republican appointed justices will burn the U.S. Constitution just as they have in the past to help the Republican Party. You can not trust this U.S. Supreme Court to abide by the Constitution. They are activist judges all too willing to roll back every gain that minorities have fought for and achieved. This include this U.S. Supreme Court supporting voter suppression.

  2. Please separate the black race from the Hispanic. This country continues to connect the Black race with some other minority. First communist. When the Jews were under fire it was the Jews, now it is the women . Every thing is the women. Next the Hispanics, not Mexicans–no–now it is South America or any other country that can speak that language. Hispanics can say if they are Black or White according to census. I am sure not many are claiming Black unless they are just to "dark". Our problems was far before any of those, yet we are still crying "LET MY PEOPLE GO"
    WE MUST REALIZE THAT WE MUST GO THIS TRIP ALONE—TOGETHER–ALL OF US TOGETHER. Those in prisons and any where else. Just as the Jews did. They called them all home from where ever. Of course America paid their way. They will not do that for us, we must do it. together. "JOIN US" This is our fight alone. Do not allow anything to separate us. Unlike all others in this country–this is the only country we know. Let us embrace each other and move forward-TOGETHER. IT IS US; OUR RICH AND OUR POOR TOGETHER. GOOD IS ON OUR SIDE. WE ARE NOT OUT TO CONTROL THE COUNTRIES WITH OIL. We only want to control our own destiny in this country. REPLY. LET ME KNOW YOU ARE OUT THERE.

  3. I.here you! if it's the Hispanic it's the gay!!
    united I/we stand bring back Blk Walstreet, Auburn Ave!! 🙂

  4. The phrase "people of color" was designed and constructed by the white supremacist system for the sole purpose of watering down the so called "Black" struggle. Before any Asians, Latinos arrived here we have been at war for our very lives against these savage animals with no help from anyone and we certainly don't need their help now. We cant allow them to attempt to incorporate their situation with our struggle because it is not the same and they will only weaken us.

  5. Of course the damn voter law is racist.

  6. Damn straight it is!

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