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Victory for Democracy as Wisconsin and Texas Voter ID Laws Come Tumbling Down

Democracy called checkmate against Scott Walker’s attempt to rig Wisconsin’s vote, while a Federal Court slapped down Greg Abbott’s attempt to suppress votes in Texas.

On Thursday night, the Supreme Court vacated an earlier Appeals court ruling that says Wisconsin’s Voter ID law is unconstitutional. This development amounts to democracy declaring checkmate on an attempt by Wisconsin Republicans to rig the election by suppressing the vote.

The one paragraph order,  supported by a majority of the court, vacated the Monday ruling by an appeals Court, pending further proceedings by the Supreme Court.  On Monday, an Appeals Court said, Wisconsin’s voter ID law is constitutional.

Justice Alito, joined by Scalia and Thomas dissented, though, even they had to concede the majority had a point because of “the proximity of the upcoming election.”  Still, the dissenting three expressed concern “that absentee ballots have been sent out without any notation that proof of photo identification must be submitted.”,

This means that Wisconsin’s voter ID law will not be in effect for this election.  Democracy declared checkmate over the blatant attempt to rig the election by Wisconsin Republicans.

But the good news gets sweeter because on Thursday evening, a Federal Court in Texas ruled  that state’s “voter ID” law unconstitutional.

The Court holds that S.B. 14 creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose,” “The Court further holds that SB 14 constitutes an unconstitutional poll tax.

Wendy Davis, the Democratic Candidate for Governor of Texas applauded the news in a statement.

This is great news for democracy. I call on Attorney General Greg Abbott to drop his defense of a law that a court has now called a ‘poll tax’ and ‘discriminatory’ against African-Americans and Hispanics.

Texas Democratic Chairman, Gilberto Hinojosa, reacted to the ruling by calling it a victory for all Texas voters and with a quote by former President Lyndon B. Johnson. “It is wrong—deadly wrong—to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country.”

This ruling is the latest in a series of losses for Attorney-General and Republican candidate for governor, Greg Abbott, who announced immediately upon hearing about the ruling that he would appeal the case to the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The Federal Court simply didn’t buy Greg Abbott’s claim that Texas Voter ID is about discriminating against Democrats and if racial minorities get caught in the vote suppression crossfire so what.  In reality, Abbott’s defense is repugnant because free societies don’t deny people the vote based on their political preferences. It certainly is not the basis of freedom in America.

We should remember that every Republican in the United States shares Abbott’s contempt for freedom when we go to the polls.

Image: National Memo

Adalia Woodbury

Former contributor.

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