Today kicks off the long-awaited trial regarding Texas’ Voter ID law. A 3-judge panel from a Washington D.C. district court is expected to make a ruling after five days of arguments, but a final ruling likely won’t come until the Supreme Court gets involved.

Today marks the first day of a five-day trial regarding Texas’ Voter ID law. Obama’s Department of Justice blocked implementation of the law in March, playing politics with Texas’ desire to secure future elections from voting fraud.

Obama and the Department of Justice is able to circumvent the will Texas Voters (including 70% of Hispanic voters) via Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) – a provision that requires federal preclearance for primarily southern states to change their election laws, including Texas.

Several states already have Voter ID laws in place, such as Indiana. The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in 2008 that their law was constitutional, but did not rule on the Section 5 of the VRA because Indiana was not subject to it.

Given the stark opposition the Obama Administration has with secure elections, the DOJ is certainly not going to sign off on it – even though Attorney General Eric Holder’s own ballot in D.C. was used to show how easy it is to commit voter fraud.

That leaves Texas with the task of getting through the three-judge panel. Given that two of the three judges were appointed by President Clinton and President Obama, it’s likely the court will not issue a Texas-friendly ruling.

But the issue won’t stop there. Attorney General Greg Abbott is certain to appeal, with the Supreme Court likely to take it up to consider the constitutionality of Section 5 of the VRA.

We’ve already seen an indication from Justice Clarence Thomas that he’d be willing to strike down Section 5 if given the chance. The Supreme Court nearly did in 2009, but deferred to rule on constitutional grounds given the statutory technicalities involved with the case they were considering.

By the end of the week we’ll have a clearer picture where Texas’ Voter ID stands, and where we go from there.

Dustin Matocha

Dustin Matocha is the CFO and COO of Texas Scorecard. Dustin graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Management, a BA in Government, and a minor in Marketing. He’s a self-described Corvette enthusiast, baseball purist, tech geek and growing connoisseur of local craft beer.


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