Tampa Delegates Cry Foul Over DC Court's Strike Against Voter ID Law
Just hours before Mitt Romney was set to take the stage at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, delegates reacted to a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington's rejection of Texas voter ID laws. NY1's Washington Bureau reporter Erin Billups filed the following report.
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Much of the crowd in Tampa, Fla. at the Republican National Convention supports efforts underway by several states requiring more identification to vote.
"If you have to show a picture ID to buy Sudafed, if you have to show a picture ID to set foot on an airplane, then you should have to show picture ID to protect one of the most valuable, most central, sacred rights blessed with an American: the right to vote," said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. "And what happened? President Obama stopped us."
On Thursday, a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. stopped Texas from implementing its voter ID law. It said Texas failed to prove that its law does not turn back the clock on voting rights for minorities, threatening their ability to elect leaders of their choice.
"I think it's a win for American voters, who we should be enfranchising and increasing opportunities to vote," said Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
The Democratic Party chair, who crashed the RNC on Thursday, said the GOP's large-scale push to pass what they call "voter suppression laws" is backfiring across the country.
"They have egregiously and outrageously tried to limit access to the polls," said Wasserman-Schultz.
Meanwhile, Republicans like Texas Governor Rick Perry said the ruling is a victory for voter fraud.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, who is also in Tampa, said it is all politics.
"All you have to do is look four years ago when then, under a different political administration, the conclusion was that voter IDs were necessary and legal. Now four years later, under a different administration, the politics have changed and they're against voter ID," said Abbot.
He points back to a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision supporting voter ID laws for Indiana, saying this is not the end for the Texas laws.
"We're going to have to take this Court of Appeals decision up to the Supreme Court," said Abbott.
It is worth noting the breakdown of that three-judge panel. Two were appointed to the bench by Democratic administrations, one by Clinton, the other Obama. The third judge is a George W. Bush appointee.