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Supreme Court rules that Texas can use controversial voter ID law

The Supreme Court ruled early Saturday morning that Texas can go ahead with S.B. 14, its voter ID law that has been called one of the toughest in the United States, The Washington Post reports.

A federal judge had found the law to be unconstitutional; Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos said in her ruling that S.B. 14 would overwhelmingly target minorities, agreeing with the Justice Department and civil rights groups that the voter ID law could render more than 600,000 registered voters unable to cast their ballots. The Texas law requires its residents to show one of seven kinds of photo identification in order to vote, but opposing groups have argued that the types of approved ID can be more difficult for blacks and Latinos to procure. A lower appeals court put that ruling on hold, though.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), who is running as the favored candidate for governor, argued that the law deters voter fraud and bolsters public trust in the election process.

"A legislature is not racist for enacting a voting requirement that the Supreme Court has found to serve legitimate state interests — even if that requirement is alleged to have a disparate impact on racial minorities," Abbott wrote.

Echoing three other voter ID cases (Ohio, North Carolina, Wisconsin) on which it has ruled in past months, the Supreme Court did not offer a reasoning behind the ruling. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, along with Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.