Texas’ voter identification law, which was the focus of a federal trial that concluded Monday in Corpus Christi, could be on a fast-track to the U.S. Supreme Court before Election Day in November. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, a Democrat who was appointed to the post in 2011 by President Barack Obama, is expected to strike down the law, according to election law experts. The state would then appeal to the conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs, which include the U.S. Department of Justice, likely would lose that round and could ask for emergency relief from the Supreme Court — all possibly within the next six weeks. It’s a scenario laid out by Richard Hasen, a professor at the law school at the University of California at Irvine, who has been closely following the Texas case.
If the matter reaches the high court, the justices wouldn’t hold a hearing, rather they likely would rule based on filings with the court, Hasen said.
“All of this very speculative,” Hasen told the American-Statesman. “But it is a scenario that could happen if (Ramos) rules in particular way and soon.”
In the voter ID trial, a collection of plaintiffs — mostly civil rights groups — have sued the state, arguing over the past couple weeks that the law passed by the Legislature in 2011 violates the Constitution and Voting Rights Act by disproportionately limiting minorities’ access to the polls.