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Texas to appeal voter ID ruling to SCOTUS

Sure, whatever.

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Texas plans to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a lower court decision that found the state’s voter ID law discriminates against minorities.

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office said Tuesday it will appeal the ruling to the high court “to protect the integrity of voting in the State of Texas.”


Texas had yet to file its appeal with the Supreme Court as of early Tuesday afternoon.

Chad Dunn, a lawyer representing U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, and the League of United Latin American Citizens in the case, said the state’s appeal will lead to more taxpayer money being wasted on litigation. The state has spent around $3.5 million on legal fees related to its voter ID law.

“Every court that has reviewed this case so far has ruled against Texas,” said Dunn.

Just a reminder, the Fifth Circuit ruling was handed down on July 20, nearly four weeks ago. Since then, the state and the plaintiffs have agreed to a remediation plan to conform to the ruling, and yesterday the state released its detailed plan for voter education and elected official training on the new ruling. The timing of this is, shall we say, odd. Rick Hasen speculates:

Seemed clear from the filings there would be no emergency SCOTUS action. And if there were, I’m sure the SCOTUS emergency review would be denied because (1) Texas waited too long given the imminent election; (2) it has started an education program for voters and training of election officials on how the new rules work; and (3) there are not 5 votes on the 4-4 Supreme Court for such relief.

I also expect cert. will be denied eventually. Liberals will like the rulings. And conservatives won’t find a fifth vote to overturn this finding on the merits.

This is so even though there is something of a Circuit split on how to apply Section 2 of the VRA to new vote denial claims.

I guess this is a matter of playing the long game, hoping to get a reversal at some point in the future? Also in the “curious timing” department is the fact that North Carolina filed an “emergency” appeal to SCOTUS over its voter ID law, which they took 17 days to get to. Not that much of an emergency, it would seem, but what do I know? Anything is possible, but the most likely outcome at this point is that nothing will change for either state, at least for this election. After that, we’ll see who gets inaugurated next January 21 and (one hopes) finally gets a ninth Justice confirmed. The DMN, the Lone Star Project, Think Progress, and SCOTUSBlog have more.

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  1. brad m says:

    Thanks Ken. More wasted taxpayers’ money. So much for fiscal responsibility.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    I’d be interested in seeing the numbers of people who actually bring in their own interpreters to vote this election. I also wonder, do the elderly and mentally infirm get to bring in interpreters, too?

    I do see the point of prohibition of this kind of activity, as it could certainly lead to relatives and caretakers using their non English speaking or mentally challenged relatives as more proxy votes, however, I’m even more galled at the amount of taxpayer money being blown on the lawsuits. Remember, it’s taxpayer money fighting taxpayer money. However this comes out, one thing is certain….the taxpayer loses.