On April 10th, 2017 a federal judge ruled that a Texas voter ID law was passed with the specific intent of discriminating against Hispanics and Blacks.
Texas has had a long history of attempting to make it as hard as possible for poor and minority voters to be able to cast their ballot on election day in order to maintain a Republican majority of elected politicians. The judge found that the law violated the Voting Rights Act, signed in 1965 after the Civil Rights movement.
“Texas passed the most restrictive photo ID law in the country — a law the legislators knew would hurt minority voting rights, without any evidence justifying it, and they broke all sorts of legislative rules and norms to do it,” Myrna Perez, deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, said.
Texas attempted to make it very hard, significantly harder than other states, to be able to cast a ballot, going as far as eliminating certain photo IDs from being eligible.
Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos acknowledged the difficulty of pinning down the legislature’s motives. She wrote about considering “all available direct and circumstantial evidence of intent” rather than trying to “discern the motivations of particular legislators.” The judge highlighted attempts by Democrats to blunt the racial impact of the law, known as Senate Bill 14, through amendments that were ultimately rejected, including allowing additional types of photo identification. “Many categories of acceptable photo IDs permitted by other states were omitted from the Texas bill,” she wrote.
This Texas voter ID law that specifically was set out to discriminate against Hispanics and Blacks shows that the idea that discrimination and institutional racism has disappeared is simply false. The prevention of the votes to be cast by many Hispanics and Blacks is the worst possible case of discrimination, as it limits and prevents their possible representation in a democracy.
Unfortunately, it seems to be that Blacks, Hispanics, and poor people are often discriminated against in such cases as these, but they must continue to be shot down by federal judges.