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Justice Ginsburg Sees Racism at Core of Texas ID Voter Laws

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Casting a dissenting opinion in a Supreme Court decision with the result that 6-3 justices would allow Texas ID voter laws to remain in effect, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a sharp dissent on the motivations and the results of such a law, according to the LA Times. Under the law, 450, 000 Texans will not be able to vote or 4.5% of the population, mainly represented by blacks and Hispanics. Justice Ginsburg says the law is “purposely discriminatory” and she cited a U.S. District Court ruling that declared the Texas law unconstitutional. She stated that there is a desire to gain a partisan advantage by enacting such laws.

Other dissenters included Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elana Kagan. Judge Richard Posner of the 7th circuit court of appeals in Chicago dissented for the same reason in a similar case dealing with a Wisconsin voter ID law. Concerns over voter fraud were not compelling enough to enact ID requirements, according to Ginsburg, because between 2002 and 2011, there were only two reported cases of voter fraud in Texas. Texas voter ID laws are the toughest in the country, with student and veteran IDs not allowed as sufficient identification. Voters who want to obtain an idea may need to travel long distances and provide a birth certificate. Justice Ginsburg added, “Texas has been found in violation of the Voter Rights Act in every redistricting cycle from after 1970.” The state’s long history of discrimination, she wrote, adds credence to the view that the laws have political and racial motivations.

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