Federal Court Says Texas Voter ID Violates Voting Rights Act

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the state's voter ID law "remains in effect" despite a federal appeals court ruling that it violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 2011 Texas law runs afoul of parts of the federal Voting Rights Act — handing down the decision on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the landmark civil rights law.

The ruling is a victory for President Barack Obama, whose administration took the unusual step of bringing the weight of the U.S. Justice Department to fight a wave of new ballot-box restrictions passed in conservative statehouses.

Opponents cheered the ruling. But Paxton, in a statement, called it "a victory on the fundamental question of Texas' right to protect the integrity of our elections."

He said Texas has held three elections under the law with "no disenfranchisement reported."

Paxton has been ordered to appear in a federal court next Wednesday after a Houston gay man was not provided an amended death certificate for his husband.

The hearing is to determine whether Paxton and a top Texas Department of State Health Services official should be held in contempt after potentially disobeying a July 7 court order barring the state from enforcing any laws that impede the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision recognizing gay marriage.

The court order comes two days after Paxton was booked on securities fraud charges.


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