Yesterday’s Court Ruling May Not Have Been That Big Of A Victory For Voter ID Opponents
At National Review, John Fund writes that yesterday’s appeals court ruling striking down Texas’ voter ID laws might have been a Pyrrhic victory for opponents of such laws. Among his arguments is the fact that the judges on the appeals court allowed poverty be a substitute for race (racists). This is significant because the Voting Rights Act makes no mention of economic status.
That stretch of the law may not hold up before the Supreme Court which did uphold a voter ID in the state of Indiana in 2008.
…the federal court held that voter ID will discriminate against the poor. One problem, however: The Voting Rights Act makes no mention of economic status. It protects against racial discrimination, not economic discrimination. Here, the decision is most vulnerable to reversal. The three judges, including Bush appointee Rosemary Collyer, ruled that poverty can be a proxy for race. Since voter ID falls harder on the poor, it must fall harder on blacks and Hispanics, who are disproportionately poor. Good luck. This bootstrap argument, equating poverty with race, is likely to end up in the crosshairs of Texas attorney general Abbott.
“Voter-ID opponents have their first-ever court victory, but it is likely to be short-lived and come with a steep price they probably didn’t bargain for,” writes Fund.
That’s probably right. By basing so many of their arguments on the Voting Rights Act, the constitutionality of that law (especially later amendments to it) are put in jeopardy of being struck down in order to uphold voter ID laws.Tags: john fund, Supreme Court, texas, voter id