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ACLU Lens: Federal Court Blocks Texas Voter ID Law

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August 30, 2012

A federal court today struck Texas’s discriminatory voter ID law, which would have prevented many eligible citizens from exercising their fundamental right to vote.

The ACLU had intervened in the case in order to represent individuals and organizations who would be negatively impacted, and protect the right to vote. Today’s decision by a three-judge Washington, D.C. panel comes at a time when the right to vote is under attack nationwide.

“By blocking this law, the court reaffirmed the right of all people in this country to participate in our democracy,” said Nancy Abudu, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Voting Rights Project, which intervened in the case along with the ACLU of Texas.

The court pointed out that “racial minorities in Texas are disproportionately likely to live in poverty” and because the law will more heavily impact the poor, they will be more affected.

The ACLU and its affiliates have also intervened in a case over South Carolina’s voter ID law, which is on trial this week in Washington, D.C., and filed lawsuits against discriminatory voter ID laws in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The laws’ disproportionate impact on minorities, the elderly and other groups only help illustrate the need for the Voting Rights Act, a crucial civil rights-era law that helps protect the minority vote.

“The ACLU remains committed to helping enforce the Voting Rights Act, and we will continue to challenge any law that threatens the fairness of the voting process for any U.S. citizen,” Abudu added.

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