After the Shelby v Holder Decision - States Change Voting Laws -- Texas 2

Holder is hoping that history can somehow repeat itself even though the Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court voting rights case weakened the protections of Section 5 preclearance by finding the Section 4 formula unconstitutional.

In late August, 2012 a Washington D.C. Federal Court three-judge panel found that the State's redistricting of their voting maps were discriminatory citing that in certain cases, on paper, districts drawn to appear as Hispanic districts would in reality achieve the benefit of candidates favored by Caucasian voters. In its entirety the judges found that the map as a whole was put into effect with a "discriminatory purpose." Additionally, they referred to the trepidations of Hispanic and black members of Congress who attested that they were excluded from the drafting of the new maps.

Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbott said he would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. At that time, lawyers for his office maintained that the drawing of the maps was outlined to help Republicans preserve control but in no way were they formulated to discriminate, and that those that drew the maps didn't know where the location of the district offices were.

Hispanic and black groups claimed the decision a victory and Democrat Trey Martinez Fischer, a Texas State Representative from San Antonio called the decision a "proud moment for voting rights in Texas." Martinez Fischer is the chairman of one of many black and Hispanic groups that were involved in the law suit against the State. In a statement to the press after the ruling he said "I think it clearly is a representation of the obvious, of what we have been saying all this time… that the face of the state of Texas is changed by the day, yet our political lines and our political representation still represents the views of a very old and different Texas."

However, the effect of the decision wasn't immediately certain, and in finality didn't affect that year's November election. That was due to the replacement maps having been drawn in San Antonio federal court as a substitute for the Legislature's maps signed by the Governor the previous summer that were refused preclearance by the federal court in Washington. The judge's ruling was not an issue in reference to the interim maps.

Two days later also in August, 2012, in the same court, another three-judge panel ruled on the other Texas law concerning the modifications to the VRA. The voter id law requiring individuals to show government-issued photo identification, mentioned above, before being allowed to cast their ballots in the upcoming election was struck down. The ruling stated that the law would dissuade voter turnout among minorities, and inflict "strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor" charging that individuals that wanted to vote but lacked the financial means for the requested proper documentation fees would be deterred in acquiring election ID cards.

Again, State Attorney General Abbott, this time along with Governor Rick Perry vowed to appeal the decision to the United States Supreme Court but it all became a moot point when the Supreme Court ruled in the Shelby v Holder case in their decision that Section 4 of the VRA was unconstitutional.

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