voter ID law

This week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Poltical COnsultant Neva Hill about the 2018 legislative session ending three weeks ahead of schedule with several controversial bills heading to Governor Fallin's desk and the lawmakers might not be finished in this year.

The trio also discusses the numerous bills on the governor's desk, as well as the ones she has signed and the ones she has vetoed.

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again declined to reinstate North Carolina's strict voter ID law, which was struck down last year after a court ruled it was intentionally designed to stop African-Americans from voting.

The nation's highest court refused to consider an appeal by North Carolina Republicans, NPR's Pam Fessler reports.

"Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the court's refusal to consider an appeal did not signify an opinion on the merits of the case," Fessler says.

Flickr / KOMUnews

A more than four-year legal challenge to overturn Oklahoma’s voter identification law was rejected this week by a state district court judge, who upheld the constitutionality of the measure.

Oklahoma County District Court Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons dismissed the case Monday after hearing arguments from lawyers representing the Oklahoma State Election Board and Tulsa resident Delilah Christine Gentges. Gentges’ attorney said he plans to appeal the decision.

All summer long, the clock has been ticking on voting rights cases. Judges don't like to change voting rules too near an election, and November is creeping ever closer.

And the past two weeks, in particular, have been eventful: Five courts in five states ruled against voter ID and proof-of-citizenship laws.

There's still time for appeals and stays. But for now, advocates for voting access are celebrating.

"It's been like Christmas Day," one activist told CNN on Monday.

A federal appeals court has ruled that a Texas voter ID law has a discriminatory effect on minority voters, and it has ordered a lower court to devise a remedy before the November elections.

A district court had found not only that the law discriminated, but that it was intentionally designed to do so. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals saw some flaws in that conclusion and instructed the lower court to reconsider that element of the case and rule again — preferably after Election Day.

A federal appeals court Wednesday struck down a voter ID law in Texas, saying it violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act. A 5th Circuit three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the law does not equate to a "poll tax" but does discriminate against minority voters.

The 2011 law, considered one of the toughest in the country, was in effect during the midterm elections last year. It was one of a handful of voter ID laws enacted in Republican-governed states. The Texas law required voters to provide certain forms of identification before they could cast a ballot.