Feds say Texas voter ID laws purposely discriminated against black and Hispanic voters

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The Independent US

In July, an appeals court ruled that Texas lawmakers discriminated against African-American and Hispanic voters by passing strict voter identification laws, and now, The Obama administration and activists are calling on a judge to rule that the lawmakers did this intentionally.

Justice Department lawyers are arguing, in a 45-page briefing sent to the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, that Senate Bill 14 was created to intentionally disenfranchise voters. On the defense, Ken Paxton, the state’s attorney general, argued that the federal officials are creating a false narrative. Others claimed that the bill prevented voter fraud, which is rarely proven to be an issue in the state.

Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi is now tasked with deciding if Texas violated the US Constitution by intentionally discriminating against minority groups. On Friday, lawyers with the Justice Department claimed a wealth of evidence lead to their conclusion, pointing to the state’s history of elections and voter trends that could unseat folks currently in office.

In his filing, Mr Paxton claims that the Justice Department doesn’t have the evidence they need to prove the state violated the Constitution. “Despite their unlimited access to the confidential communications of Texas legislators who supported SB 14,” his team wrote, “plaintiffs could proffer no evidence that any legislator harbored even a private intention to disenfranchise minority voters.”