The State of Texas is seeking permission from the three-judge panel in the voter ID case to file an amended complaint that would directly challenge the constitutionality of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
The amended complaint explained in the introduction that - as an alternative grounds for relief - “the State of Texas seeks a declaration that section 5, as most recently amended and reauthorized by the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress and conflicts with Article IV of the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment.”
With the filing, Texas now moves to the forefront, along with the Shelby County case out of Alabama, in re-raising the constitutional issue after the high court’s 2009 decision to punt the issue. However, because Texas’ case, unlike the Shelby County case, involves a three-judge panel, appeals from the case would go directly to the Supreme Court. That means Texas’ case has the potential for getting to the Supreme Court first, depending on how the timing works out. (Shelby County was argued in late January at the D.C. Circuit and is pending decision.)
Suffice it to say, things just got a little more interesting.
The amended complaint can be found here.