Supreme Court ruling means Voter ID law is back - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Supreme Court ruling means Voter ID law is back

(KLTV) -

The Supreme Court ruling Tuesday, which struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, is already having an impact on Texas.

Effective immediately, Texas voters will now have to show an official form of identification to vote, a move that minority groups nationwide called devastating.

In the narrow 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court determined Section Four of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional.

That act currently places oversights over nine states and certain counties in other states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. The act permitted the oversight on states it determined to have historical problems with voter discrimination, requiring them to receive pre-clearance before implementing new voting laws.

But the Court ruled that the method of determining states that discriminate is outdated and "based on 40-year-old data when today's statistics tell an entirely different story."

"You should not keep punishing a state for sins 40 or 50 years ago when they've corrected the problem," said U.S. House Representative Louie Gohmert.

But the Longview NAACP President, Branden Johnson, disagrees.

"It's like being in a rainstorm and taking away the umbrella," Johnson said. "We say it's not raining because we're not hit by the rain from the umbrella, but you know it is, it's just not affecting us."

Governor Rick Perry called the decision "a clear victory," allowing Texas to enact laws without "unnecessary oversight and overreach of federal power."

Tuesday's decision means that unless Congress figures out a new way of determining which states need oversight, Texas voters will once again have to show an official form of identification next time they go to the polls.

"It is ridiculous not to have more requirements to make sure that fraud is not occurring in the voting place," Gohmert said. "We don't have anything that prevents the kind of fraud that has been dealt with in third world countries more than here."

But it's a law Johnson says proves that Texas still discriminates.

"We're talking not in the 60s," he said. "We're talking about 2011 and 2012 and the Federal government had to step in and make sure the table was level."

But unless Congress intervenes with new rules, it's the law, effective immediately.

You can find the list of approved forms of identification here.

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