Defense to begin in voter ID lawsuit

Entering the home stretch.

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

The Texas voter ID trial with national implications is shifting its focus in U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos’ courtroom Tuesday.

After a week of testimony largely opposed to the law, the State of Texas’ legal team is slated to begin making its case for the law’s constitutionality and necessity after opponents rest their case Tuesday morning at the courthouse.

Closing arguments from both sides are likely to come Thursday after two sessions of witness testimony from the state’s side, but the final verdict from Ramos could be weeks away.

Attorney Chad Dunn, representing one of the plaintiffs fighting the law, told the Caller-Times on Monday the smaller amount of testimony planned for the state’s defense could shed light on how the case will be seen by Ramos.

“The State doesn’t have much of a defense,” Dunn said. “After three-and-a-half years litigating to enforce this law and millions of dollars spent, the state is still unable to justify the tremendous burden this puts on voting.”

As noted before, the best and most comprehensive coverage of the voter ID trial has been by the Brennan Center for Justice. Here are their updates from Monday and Tuesday, which brings us up to date. My guess is that the state won’t trot out an affirmative defense so much as they’ll put on a few witnesses to try to undermine the plaintiffs’ case. Given the fervent belief that some folks have in the shibboleth of in-person vote fraud and the AG’s recent embrace of sock puppet witnesses, the potential for some kind of chicanery is non-trivial. We’ll see what path they go down. The Lone Star Project has more, and see also this Vice News overview of the voter ID saga.

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