Texas Voter ID Law OK for Now; Appeals Court Blocks Injunction

Texas Republicans won a minor victory Tuesday in their battle to implement a voter identification law.

By a 2-1 vote, a federal appeals court panel in New Orleans stayed a permanent injunction to throw out the law, which requires voters to present an accepted photo ID card.

A previous order by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos allowed those without an accepted ID to vote by signing a sworn declaration stating they have a reasonable impediment to obtaining one.

The injunction will allow Texas to use a revised voter ID measure known as Senate Bill 5 (SB 5) for this November’s elections.

In the six-page majority opinion, Circuit Judges Jerry Smith and Jennifer Walker Elrod suggested that the state made a strong case.

"The State has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits,” reads a joint order from Smith and Elrod. “SB 5 allows voters without qualifying photo ID to cast regular ballots by executing a declaration that they face a reasonable impediment to obtaining qualifying photo ID. This declaration is made under the penalty of perjury.

"The State has made a strong showing that this reasonable-impediment procedure remedies plaintiffs’ alleged harm and thus forecloses plaintiffs’ injunctive relief."

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