Washington, D.C. — Today, a federal judge ruled that the Texas voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution because it was “enacted with discriminatory intent—knowingly placing additional burdens on a disproportionate number of Hispanic and African-American voters.” The judge’s ruling grants a permanent injunction barring the state from enforcing the original 2011 law as well as the version with looser restrictions that was signed into law earlier this year. Liz Kennedy, director of Democracy and Government Reform, issued the following statement regarding the news:
Once again, a federal court has found that Texas intentionally engaged in discriminatory behavior when it took steps to silence the voices of people of color by preventing them from voting. The legitimacy of government in a democracy depends on the consent of the governed. Here, elected officials actively engaged in voter suppression, which, unlike voter fraud, presents a real threat to our democracy and also plagues states such as North Carolina, Kansas, and Wisconsin. Shamefully, President Donald Trump’s sham “voter fraud prevention” commission is an extension of this agenda of voter suppression, seeking to keep Americans from exercising their power and having their voices heard. Americans demand and deserve free, fair, and secure elections, and these anti-democratic attacks cannot stand. Equal access has been denied for too long to people of color in America, and one of the ways to ensure our country’s democratic ideals are a reality is ensuring equal access to the ballot. We commend the court for upholding this fundamental right and working toward equality for all.
Center for American Progress experts are available to comment on this topic. To coordinate, please contact Tanya Arditi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-741-6258.