Seven years after Texas first passed its Voter ID law, the legal fight over the law appears to be over. This week, opponents of the law notified a federal court that they consider the case settled and will not pursue any other legal challenges. Their filing comes weeks after the state filed a request with a federal judge in Corpus Christi to reconsider a previous ruling against the law.
The law, originally passed in 2011, was revised last year with passage of Senate Bill 5. The revised version allows people without a photo ID to vote a provisional ballot if they sign an affidavit affirming their identity. State Attorney General Ken Paxton recently told Fox News that the changes in Senate Bill 5 came directly in response to prior federal court rulings. "The Fifth Circuit wanted an affidavit and they wanted the cost (of acquiring an ID) to be zero, so the Legislature made those changes, we reacted to what the Fifth Circuit said," said Paxton. "We followed (the court's direction), we changed the law, and that's why we're so confident, because we did exactly what the Fifth Circuit suggested."
Indeed, the Fifth Circuit upheld the revised law back in April, leaving opponents with very few legal options, save for a longshot appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Paxton says he always thought the law was legit. "Photo ID is used at airports, it's used at hotels, so our argument is simple...this was a legitimate act of the Legislature, this is not discriminatory," he told Fox News. "Photo ID is required everywhere else, but in one of the most precious things we have, which is the right to vote, suddenly that's a problem? It never made sense to me, and I really don't think that is accurate."