A federal judge ruled against a strict voter ID law in the state of Texas on Monday, deciding for the second time that the state’s Republicans intentionally designed the law as a barrier to keep minorities from voting. According to Fox News, this ruling and another one last month that accused the Texas GOP of gerrymandering electoral districts with racial bias in mind, could have longterm effects on the state’s autonomy:
Neither ruling has any immediate impact. But the decisions are significant because it raises the possibility of Texas being stripped of the right to unilaterally change its election laws without federal approval. Forcing Texas to once again seek federal permission — known as “preclearance” — has been a goal of Democrats and minority rights groups since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the requirement in 2013.
The voter ID ruling came from U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, the same judge who ruled against the ID law two years ago. An appeals court kicked the case back down to her last year after finding problems with her reasoning. Ramos reviewed the case again, only to stand by her original ruling, which compared the law to the poll taxes of the Jim Crow south.
“Proponents touted SB 14 as a remedy for voter fraud, consistent with efforts of other states. As previously demonstrated, the evidence shows a tenuous relationship between those rationales and the actual terms of the bill,” Ramos wrote.
Apart from the specifics of the Texas law, which may indeed be problematic from a legal standpoint, the Democrats are trying to use every court in the country to fight these ID requirements. Why? Are they right? Do these laws unfairly target minority voters? How so? Why would that be the case?
Good questions, but here’s maybe the best question of all: If someone is such a loser that they can’t get an ID card of some kind, do we really want them voting in our elections? Republicans probably can’t make that argument on the mainstream stage, but forget about the politics of it for a second. It’s just common sense. When did we decide that democracy was a sort of suicide pact, forcing us to extend voting rights to every convict, gang banger, and societal leech in America? That’s not what the Founders intended.
No one is (yet) suggesting that we go back to the days where only property owners could vote, but if it’s too much to ask that voters prove they are who they claim to be, then we have confused democracy for insanity.