What’s next for Texas’ voter ID law?

A delayed district court hearing, deferred SCOTUS review, and the state’s 2017 legislative session may all impact the future of Texas’ photo voter ID law:

 

  • A federal district court in Corpus Christi still must determine if the voter ID law was enacted in 2011 with the intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters.
  • A hearing on the law’s intent, originally set for Tuesday, was pushed back to Feb. 28 to allow new Justice Department leaders in the Trump administration to determine how they want to proceed with the case.
  • The district judge’s ruling is expected to be appealed by the losing side, providing a path to return the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The issues will be better suited” for review at that time, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote Monday.
  • The Texas Legislature could weigh in. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has designated passage of “photo voter ID” a priority this session. Legislation has not yet been filed but will be designated Senate Bill 5.