Speed Reads

Voter ID

Federal appeals court reinstates Texas voter ID law

One court giveth, the other taketh away. On the same day the Supreme Court blocked a Texas abortion law that had been upheld by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a three-judge panel of the same appellate court at least temporarily lifted a block on the Lone Star State's strict voter ID law, which a federal district judge had struck down as unconstitutional last week.

The Fifth Circuit panel decided that blocking the law so close to the Oct. 20 start of early voting would only confuse state voters and elections officials. "Based primarily on the extremely fast-approaching election date, we stay the district court’s judgment pending appeal," wrote Judge Edith Brown Clement. The ruling was unanimous, though Judge Gregg Costa wrote, in a concurring opinion, that he was "extremely reluctant to have an election take place under a law that a district court has found, and that our court may find, is discriminatory."