Judge: GOP Vote-Suppression Tactics Have ‘No Legitimacy’

In States, Voting On

There are bad laws. Then there are laws that are so awful that only the ignorant or the ill-intentioned could favor them.

Federal District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos has had to deal with a law of the latter sort, Texas’s voter identification law, for years now. Imposing new voter ID rules is among the underhanded tricks that Republicans have used over the past decade to skew elections. Texas’s legislature passed — and, against court skepticism, has attempted to maintain — the most restrictive in the country.

In yet another ruling on the state’s persistent effort to impose unnecessary restrictions on the franchise, Ramos on Wednesday rejected Texas’s latest attempt to enforce a voter ID law plainly designed to selectively discourage non-white Texans from voting. Moreover, she declined to craft for the state a legal voter ID scheme, instead telling the legislature to try again from scratch if it really wants some kind of voter ID system. Eliminating the law “ ‘root and branch’ is required,” she wrote, “as the law has no legitimacy.”

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