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Texas remains liable for nearly $ 6.8 million in legal fees and costs due to the collection of parties that demanded its electoral identification law.
While the state eventually won the fight to keep the voter identification law in the books, a U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals court upheld a lower court ruling on Friday that determined that the state was hooked on that sum. The latest vestige of the legal battle for 2011 restrictions set the state on what forms of photo identification are accepted at the polls.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office had appealed against the lower court’s ruling, which found the plaintiffs in the dispute: U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey of Fort Worth, individual voters, voting groups and civil rights, the NAACP-Texas and the Mexican and American Legislature of the House of Texas. Caucus, among others, were the “prevailing parties.”
“It seems obvious they are,” the fifth circuit judges on Friday. “The plaintiffs successfully challenged the Texas photo identification requirement before our bank bench and used that victory to obtain a court order that would permanently impede its execution during the 2016 and 2017 elections.”
The voter identification case was rejected in federal courts for nearly seven years and for several elections, with first district federal judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi ruling for the first time in 2014 that lawmakers discriminated against voters Hispanics and blacks when they crafted one of the nation’s strictest electoral identifiers. laws.
Lawmakers finally revised the voter identification law in 2017 to match the temporary rules Ramos set for the 2016 election in an effort to ease state requirements as litigation progressed.
“The state of Texas obviously cannot go back in time and re-run the 2016 and 2017 elections under a photo identification requirement,” 5th Circuit judges wrote in their ruling Friday .
After the state faced multiple court losses, the fifth circuit finally upheld the revised Texas law.
The conclusions that the original law had a discriminatory effect were left intact.
A tribunal of the 5th Circuit of three judges and then the plenary of the 5th Circuit, which is considered one of the most conservative courts of appeal in the country, had previously agreed with Ramos that the 2011 law disproportionately charged the black voters who had less than the seven forms of identification that the state required to show at the polls.
Ramos noted these resolutions — and their temporary rules agreed upon by the state — to determine that the plaintiffs who sued the state were the “prevailing parties” and were entitled to the amount awarded to cover legal costs and expenses. incurred during the litigation.
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