Lawyers for minority voters and politicians asked a federal judge Wednesday to void the Texas voter ID law, saying it is the next logical step for a statute found to be discriminatory. The lawyers also said they will ask U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos to require Texas officials to get U.S. Justice Department approval for any future changes to election law or voting procedures to guard against additional attempts to discriminate against minority voters. Wednesday’s hearing was called to chart the next steps in the case after Ramos ruled in April that the state’s 2011 voter ID law was written by Republicans to intentionally discriminate against minority voters, who tend to favor Democrats.
Of particular concern is whether, and how, Texas should be penalized for enacting a law that was found to violate the U.S. Voting Rights Act.
Much of Wednesday’s courtroom conference focused on recent action by the Legislature to soften the requirements of the state’s voter ID law.