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Republican attorneys general file briefs in support of Texas’ voter ID law

Birds of a feather.

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Fifteen Republican-controlled states are wading into the contentious court fight over Texas’ voter ID law, arguing in a legal brief that similar laws around the country have already been upheld by the courts.


Ahead of oral arguments [this] month, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is leading a coalition of GOP states supporting Texas’ controversial measure. In a recent court filing with, Zoeller’s office argues that a ruling against Texas’ measure could create “uncertainty for States attempting to enforce or enact voter ID laws.”

“This, in turn, would leave State voter ID laws in a constant state of flux,” Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher writes in an amicus brief.

Aside from Indiana, the states included on the amicus are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Indiana’s voter ID measure was upheld in 2008 by the U.S. Supreme Court, which rejected arguments that the law imposed burdens on minority groups less likely to have photo identification required to vote. In the amicus filing, Indiana argues “there are no meaningful differences between” its voter ID measure and the one passed by Texas lawmakers in 2011.

Wisconsin and Georgia have also had their respective measures upheld in court. Earlier this week, a federal judge upheld North Carolina’s voter ID law.

In its filing, the coalition of GOP states noted that a federal appeals court used the Supreme Court ruling in Indiana’s case to uphold Wisconsin’s law, which had been found by a lower court to have disenfranchised up to 300,000 voters.

See here and here for some background. This brief was filed before SCOTUS issued its ruling on the motion before it to decide whether or not to allow enforcement of voter ID for the 2016 election in Texas. It was originally enjoined by the district court, but the Fifth Circuit lifted the stay for the 2014 election, and SCOTUS declined to get involved at the time, saying it was too late in the process. As for the other cases cited, the North Carolina verdict was in district court; there is some optimism that the Fourth Circuit may overrule it, but we’re at the very beginning of that process, and the first step is to try to get an injunction for this November. The Wisconsin voter ID law is still the subject of a lot of conflict. One of the federal appeals court judges that upheld the Indiana law has since thoroughly recanted his opinion on voter ID. Perhaps SCOTUS will do the same when it inevitably gets another crack at it. Having Merrick Garland or a President Clinton appointee on the bench when that case gets heard would sure be nice. You know, in case you needed another reason to vote this fall.

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