Watch Out If Texas Loses on Voting Rights Act Claim in Voter ID Case

J. Christian Adams reports that it is looking a lot like Texas is not going to be able to prove an absence of discriminatory intent or effect as to its voter id law.

Sound like good news for voter id proponents, right?  Not so fast.

The judges have put off Texas’s backup argument—-that if their law violates section 5 of the Voting Right Act, then the act itself is unconstitutional.

As the Texas Redistricting Blog explains, “The trial, however, will not address claims by the State of Texas that the preclearance requirements of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act are unconstitutional – an issue the court will take up in separate proceedings only if the court finds grounds to deny preclearance.”

Assume, as seems fairly likely, that if the 3 judge panel reaches the issue, it will reject Texas’s constitutional argument. That could lead—still—to a fast-track emergency appeal to the Supreme Court, which could rule to allow Texas to use its i.d. in the upcoming election (pending a full, later Supreme Court hearing on the question) because it will be likely that Texas will succeed on the merits of proving the unconstitutionality of section 5.

This is fairly likely scenario I now think.

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