Texas was Right to Appeal Federal Court's Ruling Against Voter ID

09/07/2012 08:50

by Judy Kent

Federal Court Panel Sided With DOJ, Denied Texas' Request for Declaratory Judgment in Pivitol Voter ID Case in Decision Handed Down Today

Washington, DC - A three judge federal panel announced its ruling temporarily denying Texas the right to require Voter ID at polls in the upcoming November elections.

The U.S. Justice Department had blocked the Texas law in March, citing the Voting Rights Act. Texas then sued the Justice Department, sending the case to federal court in Washington, DC.

"If this ruling stands, more Americans - particularly those who are minorities or poor - will be subject to having their votes stolen in the state of Texas this fall," said National Center Adjunct Fellow Horace Cooper.

In "Victims of Voter Fraud: Poor and Disadvantaged are Most Likely to Have Their Vote Stolen," Cooper analyzed actual instances of voter fraud prosecution in a half-dozen states, and took a head-on look at racial aspects of the voter integrity debate.

"The state of Texas is appealing this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The fact is that this legal claim put forward by the DOJ is contrary to the law and Supreme Court precedent. I'm confident that ultimately Texas' voter ID law will be upheld," said National Center Adjunct Fellow Horace Cooper.

"Texas is right to immediately appeal this wayward decision to the United States Supreme Court and ask for an emergency injunction to allow the state's voter ID law to stand," said National Center General Counsel Justin Danhof. "That is the only way Texans can be sure their votes will not be stolen in future


"This case makes it clear that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act needs to be revoked. It is a remnant of a bygone era that presumes otherwise neutral laws are really racist efforts to disfranchise minorities," added Danhof. "It has no place in modern society."

"This case should never have been brought. The DOJ was wrong on the law, wrong on the policy, and, I believe, ultimately the Voter ID provision will be upheld," Cooper argued.

Cooper is the author of a National Policy Analysis paper on the Justice Department's attack on voter ID in Texas, "Justice Department Plays Fast and Loose with Facts and Constitution in Challenging Texas Voter ID Law," published in 2012 and available at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA633.html.

"Voter fraud is real and voter ID laws are an effective legal tool use to combat this fraud," Cooper explains.

"Instead of trying to prevent the voter fraud that thwarts the aspirations of the poor and other racial minorities, senior members of the Justice Department and advisors in the White House have hindered or delayed efforts by states to protect voters. This policy is shameful," complains Cooper.

Cooper's other 2012 papers on Voter ID for the National Center include:

When the Dead Vote, the Living Suffer; Department of Justice is Wrong to Oppose Voter ID," available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA631.html

"Voter ID and South Carolina: The Supreme Court Speaks Yet DOJ Won't Listen," available at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA634.html

Danhof has written extensively about voter ID on the National Center's blog.

These and other National Center for Public Policy Research publications on voter integrity issues are available collectively at http://www.nationalcenter.org/legal.html.

Horace Cooper is an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a member of the African-American leadership group Project 21 and a legal commentator. He taught constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia and was a senior counsel to Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) when Armey served as U.S. House Majority Leader.

Justin Danhof is the General Counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research. Prior to joining the National Center for Public Policy Research, Mr. Danhof worked in the Miami-Dade State's Attorney's Office in the Economic Crimes and Cybercrimes Division, for the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development and at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Danhof's work has been widely published and quoted in major newspapers, including the Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, Sacramento Bee, Orange County Register and Politico, among others.