A federal judge formally dismissed the lawsuit challenging the Texas voter ID law Monday, the final step in a yearslong fight that will allow the state to enforce a weakened version of the 2011 statute. At the urging of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi issued a two-sentence order dismissing the case in light of April’s decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld the law. Lawyers for the minority voters, Democratic politicians and civil rights groups that challenged the law had argued that Paxton’s request for a dismissal was an unnecessary step because there was nothing left to decide — except for assessing legal fees and costs — after the 5th Circuit Court’s decision.
“With this major legal victory, voter ID requirements remain in place going forward to prevent fraud and ensure that election results accurately reflect the will of Texas voters,” he said in a statement. “Safeguarding the integrity of our elections is a primary function of state government and is essential to preserving our democratic process.”
Ramos had tossed out the state voter ID law in August 2017, ruling that changes adopted by the Legislature earlier that year fell short of fixing requirements that were drafted to intentionally discriminate against minority voters. Ramos said the Republican-drafted law violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution because it was “enacted with discriminatory intent — knowingly placing additional burdens on a disproportionate number of Hispanic and African-American voters.”