Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Texas Voter Law Is An Intentionally Racist Poll Tax
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Sid Shniad
2014-10-19 03:11:18 UTC
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Insider Oct. 18, 2014Ginsburg: Texas Voter Law Is An Intentionally
Racist Poll TaxErin Fuchs*

The liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a blistering
dissent <http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14a393_08m1.pdf>
Saturday after the high court ruled that Texas can use a controversial
voter ID law this coming election

The Texas legislature passed the law requiring voter ID at the polls fully
knowing it would have a disproportionate impact on black and Hispanic
voters, Ginsburg wrote in her dissent. More from her dissent:

"The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the
prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law," she wrote, "one
that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the
right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters."

The Texas legislature knew the law could potentially stop 600,000 people
from voting but rejected a number of amendments that would have reduced the
impact on minorities — including an amendment that would have allowed
additional forms of ID, Ginsburg wrote.

Voter ID laws have largely been backed by conservatives, who argue that
they prevent fraud. Opponents of these laws point out that mass voter fraud
is not a real phenomenon in the US. In fact, opponents say, voter ID laws
are a thinly disguised attempt to keep lower-income blacks and Hispanics
(who were less likely to have IDs) away from the polls since they'll likely
vote for Democrats.
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