Supreme Court rejects Texas appeal over voter ID law

BY    | Updated: Jan 23, 2017 at 10:34 AM
Photo of U.S. Supreme Court by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Photo of U.S. Supreme Court by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Texas in its effort to restore its strict voter identification law.

The justices said Monday they will not review a lower court ruling that held the law was discriminatory. That court ordered changes in the law before the November election.

Texas softened what election experts said was among the toughest voter ID measures in the nation. But Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton had wanted the Supreme Court to restore the law to its original state.

As written, the law required showing one of seven forms of photo identification, allowing concealed handgun licenses but not college student IDs.

The case is continuing in federal district court in Texas. A hearing that had been set for Tuesday was rescheduled to next month.

The Supreme Court also won’t hear an appeal from the family on TV’s “Sister Wives” challenging Utah’s law banning polygamy.

The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that said Kody Brown and his four wives can’t sue over the law because they weren’t charged under it.

A federal judge sided with the Browns and overturned key parts of the state’s bigamy law in 2013, but an appeals court overturned that decision last year.

The Browns claim the law infringes on their right to freedom of speech and religion. The family wanted to challenge the law even though they’ve never faced criminal charges because they say the threat of prosecution still looms over them.

And in a third case, the Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal challenging Illinois’ system for issuing permits for people to carry concealed weapons in public.

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that upheld the state’s requirements for obtaining a concealed-carry license.

Three men sued state officials after they said a state review board denied their permit requests without offering an adequate explanation. After the state amended its regulations in 2015, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the new requirements.

The new regulations require a review board to explain the basis for any denial and give an applicant 15 days to respond.

The men say the new rules still violate their due process rights.

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