Friday, April 29, 2016

Still going to need your ID to vote in Texas

Supreme Court says 'no' ... but might reconsider before the fall.

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal to stop Texas from enforcing its challenged voter ID law. But the court said it could revisit the issue as the November elections approach.
The law has been in effect for recent elections, even after a trial judge struck it down in 2014 and an appellate panel found last year that the law had a discriminatory effect on minority voters.
The challengers in the ongoing lawsuit argue there is no reason to allow the requirement to show picture identification at the polls to remain in place.
But justices rejected the plea in a brief order Friday. The full New Orleans-based appeals court will hold a new hearing on the Texas law in May.
The high court said that it is aware of "the time constraints the parties confront in light of the scheduled elections." If the full appeals court has not issued a ruling by July 20, the court said, it would entertain a renewed emergency appeal over the voter ID law.

Gerry Hebert, who runs the public interest law firm that represents Texas voters challenging the law, said Friday's order gives his clients a chance to again ask the Supreme Court for help if the appeals court does not rule quickly. "This order gives us the opportunity to protect Texas voters if the 5th Circuit fails to rule in time," said Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center.

Some of this delay by the 5th Circuit is because of Antonin Scalia's death early this year.  He oversaw the rulings for this appeals circuit; Clarence Thomas -- the weirdest dude you can imagine -- inherited that workload from his deceased pal.  The slow-walking of Merrick Garland's nomination has put the remaining eight justices in a bind.  Have you signed the petition telling the Senate to do its effing job yet?

Matt Angle at the Lone Star Project shines up the silver lining.

The Texas voter ID law has been ruled discriminatory by three previous federal courts. Yet Texas Republican leaders have continued to appeal the case and demand its enforcement despite previous rulings that it discriminates against hundreds of thousands of eligible Texas voters. The case is currently pending before the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals awaiting a formal hearing on May 24th. The Supreme Court’s ruling today should force an Appeals Court decision by July 20th, which will likely be immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by the losing side. 

It's on track to be settled before we vote this year.  Photo ID is probably DOA once we get a ninth justice, whether that is Garland in December on recess or someone President Hillary Clinton appoints in January of 2017.  Either way, there's no need to allow yourself to be bullied onto the Clinton bandwagon by some neoliberal with a SCOTUS bat.  (The Notorious RBG is just short of being bulletproof, and speculation about the health of SCOTUS judges is rude at any time.)


Gadfly said...

A so-so take on why we need to stop overfetishizing SCOTUS, and bits on how to rein it in:

meme said...

Only this election, I would not be surprised if it will be required in November.