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Federal appeals court allows Texas voter ID law to stand for midterm elections

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] on Friday reversed an injunction against the Texas voter ID law [SB 5], allowing it to be enforced for the upcoming midterm election.

The Fifth Circuit had previously remanded SB 14, the first attempt by the Texas State Legislature at a voter's ID law in 2014. The Texas legislature then modified SB 14, resulting in SB 5. The Fifth Circuit determined that the district court had abused its discretion in ordering an injunction to stop the new law from going into effect because it relied upon the same evidence from SB 14 without addressing the changes in SB 5.

"The court also erred in apparently presuming, without proof, that any invidious intent behind SB 14 necessarily carried over to and fatally infected SB 5."

SB 5 allows voters to use, in addition to the seven enumerated forms of identification in SB 14, the following, so long as they can prove that a reasonable impediment prevented them from using one of the acceptable forms of identification.

  • A government document showing voter's name and address (including voter's voter registration certificate)

  • A copy of a current utility bill that shows the name and address of the voter

  • A bank statement that shows the name and address of the voter

  • A government check that shows the name and address of the voter

  • A paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter

  • A certified copy of a domestic birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes the person's identity

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