SCOTUS won’t hear Texas voter ID case; Roberts statement says case may return

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a challenge to a Texas law that requires voters to present government-issued photo identification.

Though the justices denied cert in Abbott v. Veasey, the case could return to the Supreme Court after lower courts decide additional issues, according to a special statement by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. SCOTUSblog calls the statement “a relatively unusual move.”

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had issued an en banc opinion last July that found the law violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it interferes with the right to vote by Latinos and African Americans. But the appeals court said the violation didn’t justify blocking enforcement of the law in its entirety, and remanded for a decision on the appropriate remedy.

The en banc court also vacated a district court finding that lawmakers acted with discriminatory intent and sent the case back for further consideration of the facts.

Roberts said there is no barrier to Supreme Court review at this point in time. But the district court is still considering the issues on remand and there is still no final remedial order, he said.

“Petitioners may raise either or both issues again after entry of final judgment,” Roberts wrote. “The issues will be better suited for certiorari review at that time.”

SCOTUSblog notes that the Justice Department position could change in the case. The Obama administration had been among the plaintiffs challenging the Texas law. In a filing on Friday, the Justice Department asked for a 30-day delay to brief new leadership on the issues “before making any representations to the court.”





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