AUSTIN -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says the state will appeal the rejection of its voter ID law to the U.S. Supreme Court and is confident of prevailing.
Abbott said the ruling Thursday by a federal court in Washington was "wrong on the law" and stops Texas from using the same Election Day measures being used in Georgia and Indiana.
A three-judge panel ruled that law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature would most heavily burden the poor, who in Texas are disproportionately racial minorities.
It’s the second defeat for state GOP leaders this week after another panel threw out the state’s redistricting maps, having found them discriminatory. Abbott says the state will also appeal that decision.
Federal officials, Texas leaders and civil rights activists reacted to a federal court ruling Thursday against a Texas law that requires voters to present photo identification at polling stations in order to cast ballots.
Here is a snapshot of the reaction:
RICK PERRY, TEXAS GOVERNOR
"Chalk up another victory for fraud. Today, federal judges subverted the will of the people of Texas and undermined our effort to ensure fair and accurate elections. The Obama Administration’s claim that it’s a burden to present a photo ID to vote simply defies common sense."
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL
"Under the proposed law, many of those without the required voter identification would be forced to travel great distances to get one - and some would have to pay for the documents they might need to do so. The Legislature rejected reasonable efforts to mitigate these burdens. We are pleased with the court’s decision to deny preclearance because of these racially discriminatory effects."
GREG ABBOTT, TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL
"The Supreme Court of the United States has already upheld Voter ID laws as a constitutional method of ensuring integrity at the ballot box. Today’s decision is wrong on the law and improperly prevents Texas from implementing the same type of ballot integrity safeguards that are employed by Georgia and Indiana—and were upheld by the Supreme Court. The state will appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, where we are confident we will prevail."
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY
"This administration believes it should be easier for eligible citizens to vote, to register and vote. We should not be imposing unnecessary obstacles and barriers to voter participation."
TREY MARTINEZ FISHER, CHAIRMAN OF THE MEXICAN AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE
"In a matter of two days, the state of Texas has had its dirty laundry aired out across the national stage. This deals with the despicable issues of discrimination, voter suppression, these are things that we’re not proud of."
TERRI BURKE, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF TEXAS.
"This case demonstrates precisely why we still need Section 5 (of the Voting Rights Act) in 2012. Without the process of federal review it mandates, democracy would have failed the largely minority population who cannot afford to purchase the underlying documents, travel long distances or take off work to get to the closest government office that issues photo identification."
RYAN HAYGOOD, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE
"In the past 10 years, Texas’ population has grown by 4 million people, 90 percent of which is attributable to minority growth. Many Texans would have had difficulty securing the limited types of identification the proposal allowed. Approximately 80 of the 254 counties in Texas do not have a Department of Motor Vehicles agency. In one county, for example, there is no Department of Motor Vehicles within 100 miles