Federal Appeal Ruled Against Texas ID Law

Posted on Aug 7, 2015 9:00am EDT

After the Supreme Court invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Texas announced Senate Bill 14, also known as the Texas ID Law. SB 14 requires voters to present government-issued photo ID when they go to polling centers in Texas.

As the legal world closely watched several cases that began in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision, one particular case put the Texas ID law in the spotlight: Veasey v. Abbott, No. 14-41127 (5th Cir. 2015). This case was brought to a federal appeals panel for judgment.

On Wednesday, the panel ruled in favor of the appeal, recognizing that SB 14 discriminated against minority populations and also violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Power of Appeal

Despite the Supreme Court's ruling that invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, citizens still had the option to appeal court rulings in cases that involved the law. In Veasey v. Abbott, the appellate party appealed the Texas ID law, arguing that it held a discriminatory purpose that harshly affected Hispanics, blacks, and other minorities.

The federal appeal's success means that the case may return to Texas court, where the future of SB 14 could be decided. However, appeals go both ways—the state of Texas, the party who first brought Texas ID law into action, may appeal the decision to the Fifth Circuit of Appeals or the United States Supreme Court.

What Happens Next?

Despite the federal appeals panel ruling against Texas ID law, the state of Texas still had the ability to reinstate the laws for an interim, citing that the disruption it would cause in the full swing of election season does more good than harm. The battle isn't over, but as a civil appeal, Veasey v. Abbott is a significant victory for those seeking to restore the legislation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The future of SB 14, and other similar state legislation that enforces strict voting laws, may be fought on the battlefield of civil appeals—at least until the fight returns to SCOTUS for another look. If you want more information on appeals cases and procedure, find it with Appeals Law Group.