A federal appeals court on Tuesday evening reinstated Texas’ controversial voter identification law, striking down a lower court’s ruling that blocked it on grounds it would have “an impermissible discriminatory effect” on Hispanics and African-Americans and is unconstitutional. The three-judge panel of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a ruling just five days earlier by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi on grounds that it “substantially disturbs the election process of the state of Texas just nine days before early voting begins.”
Just last week, amid a flurry of court rulings on voter ID laws, Ramos had issued a stinging rebuke to the state, likening its photo identification requirement to a poll tax that would impair hundreds of thousands of minority voters from exercising their rights to vote.
The appellate court relied on language from the U.S. Supreme Court in issuing its ruling, saying that the highest court “has repeatedly instructed courts to carefully consider the importance of preserving the status quo on the eve of an election.”