AUSTIN, Texas (TEXAS TRIBUNE) — A federal judge has ruled — for the second time — that Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against Latino and black voters in passing a strict voter identification law in 2011.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled Monday that Texas “has not met its burden” in proving that lawmakers passed the nation’s strictest photo ID law without knowingly targeting minority voters.
The 10-page ruling, if it withstands almost certain appeals, could ultimately put Texas back on the list of states needing federal approval before changing election laws. A 2013 Supreme Court ruling sprung Texas and other states with a history of discrimination from that list.
U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals last July ruled that the Texas law disproportionately targeted minority voters who were less likely to have one of the seven forms of state-approved photo ID — a violation of the U.S. Voting Rights Act. And Texas conducted the 2016 General Elections under a court-ordered relaxation of the rules.
But the appeals court asked Ramos, of Corpus Christi, to reconsider her previous ruling that lawmakers discriminated on purpose.
After re-weighing the evidence, she came to the same conclusion, according to Monday’s ruling.