Last week on Monday, Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that the 2011 Texas Legislature’s ID law for voters was established around all intentions to profile Hispanic voters racially. She claims that the state’s election strategies might be placed back under a federal oversight from the U.S. government. In a never-ending battle over legalities within the most rigorous voter identification law in America, the Ramos discovered that the statutory legislation violated several federal guidelines listed in the Voting Rights Act.

A fight from the past

Ramos, who is a U.S.

District Court Judge, made the same ruling a few years ago back in 2014. However, after the State Of Texas petitioned the decision, the courts demanded that she re-examine the pressing concern one more time.

In New Orleans, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals discovered that Ramos heavily relied on the state’s history to expose its racial intentions towards voting. As a result, they also asked the judge to re-evaluate any racial allegations against Texas.

In her ruling, Nelva documented that the Fifth Circuit's reported data didn’t tip the scales favoring Texas at all nor did it stop her from trying to expose the state’s engagement in practices that were racially motivated.

The ruling prepares a platform for Texas to accrue many potential penalties that might have long-term impacts.

Attorneys that participated in the case claim the decision wipes the law out, despite the fact that judges have yet to issue another order doing so. Federal officials operating in the state of Texas are expected to have her decision appealed.

The public's opinion

Mixed reviews have resulted from this battle between the Fifth Circuit, Texas and Judge Ramos.

Marc Rylander is the spokesman for Ken Paxton, the state's attorney general. He is the one who declared in a statement that Texas administrators are likely to have the decision appealed in court. He said, “We’re all disappointed. We will see an overview of this ruling when it’s a suitable time to do so.”

On the other side of things, some anticipated the decision.

Myrna Perez is the NYU Law school’s deputy overseer of their Brennan Center for Justice. She said in response to Nelva’s actions that this is certainly a fantastic ruling. However, it comes as no surprise.

She further mentioned that Texas implemented one of the most restricted photo identification laws in the U.S. She believes it is a regulation lawmakers knew harmed the voting rights of minorities. Perez noted that even though there’s no information justifying it, they knew they were shattering a variety of legislative norms and guidelines to do it.

Nelva Ramos addressed the issue of exposing the Texas Legislature’s hidden motives. The judge wrote about taking into consideration all direct evidence of intent rather than aiming to discern individual lawmakers' motivations.

The judge continued her statement by highlighting the Senate Bill 14. The statue was the Democratic Party’s attempt to halt any future laws from having intentional racial discriminations.

Lawyers’ Committee President, Kristen Clarke, said Monday’s decision was another moment in court where Texas laws and regulations were proven to have a purpose that was discriminatory in its effects.

She explained that Nelva Ramos’s ruling should be allowed to call out the troubling requirements for voter identification in the state of Texas and all across the nation.

For many years, Texas deliberate intent to segregate has required the state to obtain federal authorization before implementing any changes to their laws surrounding citizens and voting.

However, they've since delivered themselves from that necessity after a Supreme Court decision in 2013 removed that mandated provision from the Voting Rights Act.

Texas may be the first state to scale back on considering the Supreme Court’s final ruling four years ago. Ramos didn’t comment if she plans to demand that Texas endure an oversight by the federal government. However, she does plan to examine the concern in the next few stages of the ruling.

Reasons that made Judge Ramos speak out

In 2011, former Governor Rick Perry signed a statutory law requiring voters to provide polling stations any government-issued ID with a picture of them on it before casting their ballots during elections. It and passed by the Texas Legislature that year, but didn’t take effect until 2013.The courts found that the law discriminated against the Hispanic vote.

They knew it was common for Hispanics to lack photo IDs issued by the U.S. government.

Many Democratic organizations and groups support people of ethnic descent. So, as a result, they sued the Texas Legislature. They argued that Republican lawmakers forced the bill to go through the House and U.S. Senate and be approved. They believed congressional staff ignored normal procedures while completing the passing of the law. The Democrats even classified it as a legislative crisis.

Plaintiffs presented court documents to Judge Ramos during their hearings that suggested the regulation’s real intention was to assist the Republican Party in maintaining their power hold on minority voters and their dynamic growth in the Democratic Party.

Republican representatives were the only ones who defended the statute in the courtroom. They all faithfully disputed any suggestions that accused Congress of discriminating against ethnic groups intentionally.

The Republican Party claims the law aimed at protecting American voters from fraud. They also noted the legislation’s procedure was designed back then to stop the Democratic Party from manipulating any procedures or guidelines that might prevent laws from being passed accordingly.

Republicans stated that their competitors failed to provide any evidence that lawmakers meant to be discriminatory towards ethnic groups while forming their federal regulations.


The Department of Justice was originally a member engaged in the legal fight against Texas during the times when Obama’s administration held office.

However, in a change that flustered constitutional protections, the department chose to withdraw from the Ramos' case once they fell under the Trump administration. This reaction from the Justice Department is why Judge Ramos claims Texas passed the law with intentions to discriminate.

Law professor Samuel Bagenstos noted at the time of the ruling,“I believe Ramos’ judgment is extremely significant partly because the Trump administration’s Justice Department decided to give up arguing over any positions of racial intent. This sort of makes the department look bad for because they neglected their prior position.”

Nelva’s ruling makes this the third time in 2017 that a federal court found, in split cases, that the state of Texas or one of its municipalities discriminated against minority voters deliberately.