The wave of voter ID laws and other sundry forms of voter suppression may finally be breaking. Lean Forward has already reported on the conclusion to the early voting fight in Ohio, where a judge overruled a Republican state law that would have ended weekend voting in the state. Now, as Melissa Harris-Perry reported on Sunday, Texas' voter ID legislation has also failed in court.
"That law will almost certainly have retrogressive effect," reads the opinion from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. "[I]t imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor, and racial minorities in Texas are disproportionately likely to live in poverty."
The court's reasoning echoed what many critics of voter ID have been saying for months: that such legislation disproportionately disenfranchises poor and minority voters, who are less likely to have the required forms of ID and who have a more difficult time obtaining them.
The Brennan Center's Myrna Perez said that the ruling proves the continued relevance of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was cited in the case. "It's really hard to argue that the Voting Rights Act has outlived its usefulness," she said. "I think this proves the continuing need for the Voting Rights Act."