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Federal Court Rejects Texas Voter ID Laws

A federal district court issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of Texas' voter photo identification rules on Wednesday. United States District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that recent amendments to the law were insufficient to mitigate the law's discriminatory effects.

The amendments passed earlier this year were an attempt by Texas' state legislature to preserve parts of a 2011 voter ID law that was ruled by a federal circuit court of appeals to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

The changes failed to eradicate the law's problems, the court found. "A large part of what makes [the original law] discriminatory—placing a disproportionate burden on Hispanics and African Americans through the selection of qualified photo IDs—remains essentially unchanged in [the amended law]," Ramos wrote in the court order.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton vowed to appeal the ruling. "Today's ruling is outrageous," he said in a statement. "Senate Bill 5 was passed by the people's representatives and includes all the changes to the Texas voter ID law requested by the 5th Circuit."