Judge rules GOP law violates minority rights
By Ian White
AUSTIN’S Republican leadership was quiet on Monday after a federal district judge ruled for the second time in three years that the voter ID law they enacted in 2011 intentionally discriminates against some Texas voters.
But Democrats were quick to blast governor Greg Abbott, lieutenant governor Dan Patrick and attorney general Ken Paxton for upholding their defense of the law, which detractors say is a deliberate attempt to prevent African-Americans and Hispanics from casting ballots as they are considered more likely to vote for the Democrats.
Matt Angle, director of the left-leaning Lone Star Project political action committee, said: “Sadly, adopting laws that intentionally discriminate against minority Texans has become standard operating procedure for Texas Republican leaders.
“For the fifth time in five years, a federal judge has ruled that Greg Abbott, above left, and other Texas Republican leaders intentionally discriminated against Hispanic and African American Texas citizens.”
Angle was reacting to Corpus Christi judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos’ ruling that the Republican-dominated Texas legislature had enacted the voter ID law, known as senate bill 14, with the intent of discriminating against the minority-group voters.
She refused to accept the Republicans’ claim that the law was purely a device to prevent voter fraud and said the measure violates the US Voting Rights act, saying there was “no substance to the justifications offered for the draconian terms of SB 14”.
Ramos issued her ruling on Monday after an appeal by the Republicans against a ruling she handed down in 2014 had been remanded back to her court by the New Orleans-based fifth circuit federal appeals court with an instruction to determine whether the law had been drafted intentionally as a discriminatory measure.
Angle said: “Intentional discrimination is more than a trend; it is a sickening technique Republican leaders use to weaken and undermine the voting strength of minority Texans rather than lift one finger to earn their support.
“Every Texan is hurt when any Texan is the victim of discrimination by state leaders. Every Texan deserves an apology and a pledge from Greg Abbott and Republican leaders to end the court fights and settle the cases.”
But he doesn’t expect Abbott and co to take Ramos’ ruling lying down and decline to appeal again, saying: “Don’t hold your breath. It is near certain that Republican leaders will appeal this decision and spend even more Texas taxpayer money defending intentional discrimination.
“Their hostility against fellow Texans is unchecked. Rather than heal the wounds of discrimination, I expect Abbott, Patrick and Paxton to inflict even more damage on our great state.”
As The Post went to press on Monday evening, there was no official word on how the Republican leadership in Austin would react to Ramos’ latest ruling.