A federal appeals court voted 2-1 on Tuesday to allow Texas to use its voter ID law in November elections, overturning a U.S. district court judge, Politico reported.
"The State has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits, wrote judges Jerry Smith and Jennifer Elrod of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
SB5, the law in question, "allows voters without qualifying photo ID to cast regular ballots by executing a declaration that they face a reasonable impediment to obtaining qualifying photo ID," the judges wrote. "This declaration is made under the penalty of perjury. The State has made a strong showing that this reasonable-impediment procedure remedies plaintiffs' alleged harm and thus forecloses plaintiffs' injunctive relief."
The judges also said U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos went beyond the scope of a previous ruling by the 5th Circuit that told her to determine whether the SB5 had rectify the issues with SB14, a previous voter ID law Texas passed in 2011.
"Simply put, whether SB 5 should be enjoined — as opposed to whether it remedies SB 14’s ills — was not an issue before the district court on remand," Smith and Elrod wrote.
The 5th Circuit's third judge, James Graves Jr., dissented, arguing that it was not certain Texas would ultimately prevail in the case.
"If a stay is granted at all, then it should be comprehensive. In other words, the correct approach would be to stay both the district court’s order and the new legislation," Graves said.
Groups seeking to stop the voter ID law, which they say is aimed at preventing minorities from voting, could ask the Supreme Court to step in and reverse the 5th District's say, Politico wrote.
Smith, Politico notes, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan appointee, while Elrod was appointed by President George W. Bush appointee. Graves and Ramos both were appointed by President Barack Obama.
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