A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Texas’s voter identification law can move forward for the 2014 election, halting a ruling by a trial judge who struck down the law as unconstitutional on Thursday.
“This is not a run-of-the-mill case; instead, it is a voting case decided on the eve of the election. The judgment below substantially disturbs the election process of the State of Texas just nine days before early voting begins. Thus, the value of preserving the status quo here is much higher than in most other contexts,” Judge Edith Brown Clement wrote on behalf of a three-judge panel on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The case has yet to be heard on the merits at the 5th Circuit, which leans conservative. It may eventually reach the Supreme Court.
The lawsuit is a test case for states’ freedom to enact restrictive voting laws in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling to curtail the Voting Rights Act.