Kjetil Ree For now, you still have to bring your ID to go vote. If you have one, of course.
On Saturday, the Supreme Court decided to let Texas enforce its strict two-year-old voter ID law, which a district court judge struck down as grossly discriminatory this month, but that ruling was temporarily put on hold by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Got that? No?
Then let us 'splain: You have to bring what the law calls proper identification -- assuming you have some -- to cast your vote this election because otherwise the Supreme Court says you might be confused and just show up to vote the way Texans have always done. You see, apparently it's better to let a new discriminatory law possibly disenfranchise a large number of voters -- 600,000 by one count -- than lay the heavy burden on voters who mistakenly bring identification to the polls when they needn't have bothered.
Whew! Thank you, Supreme Court, for clearing that up.
Of course, the Supreme Court didn't actually say this, since it didn't give a reason for its decision, but the general consensus seems to be that justices figured it would be confusing to make a major overhaul to the law so close to the election. And if you aren't buying that, you're not alone.
"The thinking was that issuing a decision this close to the election would disrupt the status quo in a way that would be a detriment to the state," says Lynne Rambo, a professor of constitutional law at Texas A&M law school. "It's not a theory I buy."More »