Tags: | Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | Melissa Hamilton | voter | ID | Texas

Lawyer: Fight Over Texas Voter ID Law Far From Over

By    |   Monday, 13 Oct 2014 04:30 PM

The battle over a law requiring Texans to show approved forms of photo identification at the polls could reach the U.S. Supreme Court, but may go unenforced in the November elections while the case is on appeal, a former Texas Law Review editor who opposes the voter ID statute told Newsmax TV on Monday.

"We need to be clear here that this issue is going to continue to be litigated," Melissa Hamilton, a visiting scholar at the University of Houston Law Center, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott — also the state's Republican candidate for governor — is already appealing a federal judge's injunction on Saturday against the voter ID law. The law's supporters call it a measure to combat voter fraud. The judge ruled the law is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

Hamilton said Abbott faces an "uphill battle" to reverse the injunction before next month's midterm elections.

She said the Texas Office of Secretary of State, which oversees elections and is run by a Republican, "seems to have already capitulated to the ruling, because they have removed evidence, or at least information, on their website about requiring photo ID."

Hamilton said the federal district judge was right to strike down the Texas statute.

"In the Texas case, there was evidence of two instances of voter fraud over a 14-year period, versus 600,000 votes that will be disenfranchised by this voter ID law," she said.

"What message are these laws sending to the world . . . that voting restrictions, rather than trying to enfranchise as many voters as possible — is that what our vision of a democracy is?"

She said a similar measure in Wisconsin, which the Supreme Court blocked on Thursday, is also likely to get a fuller hearing in the federal courts — but not in time to be reinstated before the Nov. 4 midterms.

"The Supreme Court was not acting on the merits, meaning the court, in the Wisconsin case, was not indicating whether they thought the rule was constitutional or not," said Hamilton. "They simply were [saying] because of timing that there was going to be too much voter confusion."

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The battle over a law requiring Texans to show approved forms of photo identification at the polls could reach the U.S. Supreme Court, but may go unenforced in the November elections while the case is on appeal, a former Texas Law Review editor who . . .
Melissa Hamilton, voter, ID, Texas
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2014-30-13
Monday, 13 Oct 2014 04:30 PM
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