Texas Voter ID Lawsuit Scheduled for Trial in Washington

A dispute over Texas’s new law requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls is scheduled for trial beginning July 9 before three federal judges in Washington.

Texas, which sued the U.S. seeking permission to enforce its photo ID requirements, pushed for a quick trial, telling the federal court that it needs a ruling by Aug. 15 to implement the law in time for the November election.

The trial is scheduled to last five days and won’t focus on Texas’s allegations that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional, according to today’s order from Circuit Judge David Tatel and district judges Rosemary Collyer and Robert Wilkins.

The Justice Department on March 12 used its power under the Voting Rights Act to block the Texas law, saying in a letter to the state that the measure may disproportionately harm Hispanic voters. The department in December stopped a similar law in South Carolina.

Texas is among 16 states, or jurisdictions within states, that must obtain permission from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington before redrawing their district lines or changing election procedures because of a history of voting rights violations.

The case is State of Texas v. Holder, 12-00128, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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