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Federal judge rules Texas voter ID law unconstitutional

At almost the same time the Supreme Court voted to block Wisconsin from implementing its voter ID law, a federal judge in Corpus Christi, Texas, ruled late Thursday night that Texas' voter ID law is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos said the law, which was passed in 2011 and requires one of seven forms of valid ID to vote, was similar to the poll taxes that kept minorities from voting in the Jim Crow-era south. "The Court holds that S.B. 14 creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose," Ramos said in her opinion.

The ruling was praised by Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, who told the Austin American-Statesman, "As our former President Lyndon B. Johnson once said: 'It is wrong — deadly wrong — to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country.'"

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor, said the state will appeal the decision.