Despite two recent setbacks for the state of Texas in separate federal court rulings, the hard-fought voting battles continue. But, at least for now, those prolonged fights have nothing to do with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s decision to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse both lower court rulings. For some of you who missed it, in late August two judicial panels in Washington ruled the state’s redistricting maps and the voter ID law — both approved by the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature last year — are unconstitutional because they violate the federal Voting Rights Act. The 1965 landmark legislation protects the voting rights of racial minorities.
Although Abbott said immediately he would appeal to the Supreme Court, long before those rulings there were signs the fight between the state and vocal opponents of the redrawn maps and the voter ID law would continue for other reasons. As some news organizations have reported, two thorny issues — the contemplated purge of voters the state considers ineligible, plus the possibility that overzealous poll watchers could harass voters in minority neighborhoods — has some civil rights groups and Democratic legislators worried.