Top Ten Quotes: Courts Reject Texas Redistricting & Voter ID Laws

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Top Ten Quotes: Courts Reject Texas Redistricting & Voter ID Laws

Last week, federal courts rejected Texas' redistricting and voter ID laws, citing discriminatory intent to disenfranchise minority voters. The rulings provide the most detailed takedown of these unjust laws to date. To highlight the rulings, we've pulled the top 10 quotes from each case to give you an idea of how the courts viewed the work of Republicans in the Texas Legislature.

1.      "A deliberate, race-conscious method to manipulate not simply the Democratic vote but, more specifically, the Hispanic vote." (Redistricting)

2.      “Record evidence suggests that SB 14, if implemented, would in fact have a retrogressive effect on Hispanic and African American voters.” (Voter ID)

3.      “We are also persuaded by the totality of the evidence that the plan was enacted with discriminatory intent.” (Redistricting)

4.      "A law that forces poorer citizens to choose between their wages and their franchise unquestionably denies or abridges their right to vote" (Voter ID)

5.      "We are likewise troubled by the unchallenged evidence that the legislature removed the economic guts from the Black ability districts." (Redistricting)

6.      “SB 14 is far stricter than either Indiana’s or Georgia’s voter ID laws…Moreover, the burdens associated with obtaining a purportedly “free” voter ID card will be heavier under SB 14 than under either Indiana or Georgia law.” (Voter ID)

7.      "Testimony of the lead House mapdrawer reinforces evidence suggesting mapdrawers cracked VTDs along racial lines to dilute minority voting.” (Redistricting)

8.      Many Hispanics and African Americans who voted in the last election will, because of the burdens imposed by SB 14, likely be unable to vote in the next election. This is retrogression. Significantly, Texas disputes none of the facts underlying this conclusion. (Voter ID)

9.      We find it telling that the legislature deviated from typical redistricting procedures and excluded minority voices from the process even as minority senators protested that section 5 was being run roughshod… [Texas] now fails to respond sufficiently to the parties’ evidence of discriminatory intent, compels us to conclude that the Senate Plan was enacted with discriminatory purpose as to SD 10. (Redistricting)

10.  Everything Texas has submitted as affirmative evidence is unpersuasive, invalid, or both. Moreover, uncontested record evidence conclusively shows that the implicit costs of obtaining SB 14 - qualifying ID will fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty. We therefore conclude that SB 14 is likely to lead to “retrogression in the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise.” (Voter ID)

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