In April, a federal judge in Wisconsin invalidated that state’s voter-identification law, finding that it would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in a phony attempt to prevent a problem — in-person voter fraud — that does not exist. Last week, the spotlight turned to the federal court in Corpus Christi, where the Justice Department and several advocacy groups are fighting Texas’ absurdly strict voter-ID law. Passed in 2011 by the Republican-dominated Legislature, the law accepts as proof of identity a concealed-weapon permit but not a student ID card. Laws like these used to be blocked by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which required that the federal government preapprove any voting rules enacted by states and localities with a history of discriminatory voting practices. But in a destructive ruling last year, the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 as unconstitutional. Only hours after that ruling, Texas resurrected its voter-ID law, which had been stopped by Section 5. Defenders of voting rights are now using a different part of the Voting Rights Act to challenge such laws, but it is a time-consuming and costly process. In the Texas suit, testimony has shown that about 1.2 million eligible voters — including disproportionate numbers of lower-income, black and Latino voters, who tend to vote Democratic — lack a photo ID that would allow them to cast a ballot. Some never had the necessary underlying documents, such as a birth certificate; others cannot afford the time or money it takes to track them down. Full Article: Voter ID on Trial in Texas – NYTimes.com.