Texas voter ID law backed by 15-state coalition, entire Texas GOP congressional delegation in legal briefs

A coalition of 15 states is supporting Texas’ voter ID law in an amicus brief filed last week aimed at protecting states’ “discretionary legislative authority over elections.”

The amici States have an interest in ensuring that such authority is not undermined by judicial decisions that would grant voter ID opponents repeated opportunities to facially attack election laws that have already been deemed valid.

Led by Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller, the coalition of states joining the amicus includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

 

Texas’ entire Republican congressional delegation also filed an amicus brief in support of the state’s voter ID law, known as SB 14, arguing that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act has been misinterpreted.

The panel here adopted a radically different theory of Section 2.  The panel invalidated Texas’s race-neutral regulation of the time, place, and manner of voting through its voter ID law. It found that minorities are less likely to possess qualifying IDs because of underlying socioeconomic inequalities, which the panel predicted could lead to a disparity in minority voter participation… The panel thus concluded that Texas’s race-neutral election process violates Section 2… For several reasons, this novel theory contradicts both Section 2’s plain language and Supreme Court and Circuit precedent identifying the sort of discriminatory “results” proscribed by the statute.

An en banc hearing before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled for May 24.