A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a Tennessee law for the November election that bars first-time voters from casting ballots by mail unless they show identification at an election office beforehand.
U.S. District Judge Eli Richardson in Nashville ordered the preliminary injunction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, assuring that he did so without concern “about how his decisions could aid one side or the other on the political front.”
The judge wrote that the state argued for its law, which plaintiffs say affected an estimated 128,000 newly registered voters last election cycle, through “a non-existent” congressional requirement and congressional intent. Tennessee has about 4.1 million registered voters.
“The Court concludes that the requested injunction would favorably impact the public interest because as discussed above, it would serve to prevent what, based on the current record, likely would be a violation of the First Amendment right to vote enjoyed by the American citizenry,” Richardson wrote.
I haven’t seen the full order yet but I’m surprised to see a reference to a “First Amendment right to vote.”