LULAC Scores Significant Victories Over Voter ID Laws
October 10, 2014
U.S. District Court Invalidates Texas Voter ID Law and U.S. Supreme Court Prevents Wisconsin Voter ID Law From Being Enforced While It Considers Appeal
Washington, D.C. –
Yesterday, in a decision rendered by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi, Texas, the controversial and draconian Texas voter ID law was held to be unconstitutional. Specifically, the Court held that the law would “create 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.”
Although supporters of the voter ID law acknowledge that some voters have greater burdens than others to show a valid form of identification, they argued that the law was necessary in order to prevent voter ID fraud. The reality, however, is that a review of voter activity over the last 14 years failed to identify any problem related to voter fraud. The lack of such evidence exposed the real purpose of the voter ID law, which was to suppress the vote of those who may have contrary political views. LULAC helped lead the fight against the Texas voter ID law, serving as a named plaintiff in the case, as well as having LULAC attorneys as part of the legal team that argued the case.
With regard to the Texas decision, LULAC National Executive Director, Brent Wilkes, issued the following statement:
“The history of voter discrimination in Texas is well documented. Literacy tests, poll taxes, redrawing of electoral lines and other mechanisms have been used to intimidate minorities from voting. These efforts are un-American in that they are an assault on the democratic principles upon which this country was founded. The Court’s decision to strike down this latest attempt at voter manipulation is a reaffirmation that the core democratic principle of the right to vote applies to all Americans, including the disadvantaged. LULAC has fought to ensure such rights for all individuals and is deeply gratified by the Court’s decision.”
LULAC also participated as a lead plaintiff with the Advancement Project in the Wisconsin voter ID case presently before the U.S. Supreme Court. In a ruling late yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the Order of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court effectively reinstated the District Court’s injunction and as a result, the Wisconsin voter ID law may not be enforced while the U.S. Supreme Court considers the pending appeal.
With regard to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, LULAC National Vice President for the Midwest, Darryl Morin, issued the following statement:
“LULAC is encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to prevent the Wisconsin voter ID law from being enforced while it considers the appeal. We believe it reflects an appreciation of the basic principle that our democratic right to vote should not be compromised while the judicial process moves forward.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.