Federal District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi has denied Attorney General Greg Abbott’s request to move a lawsuit challenging Texas’ Voter ID law to a March trial date in 2015. Opening arguments will begin a few months before state general elections in September 2014.
State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, the head of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and a plaintiff in the case, said Abbott’s request of the court is more about political ambitions.
"I think this is more along the lines of Attorney General Greg Abbott wanting to pull off some kind of political amnesia," Martinez Fischer said. "I think he’s more or less trying to clean his hands of the mess that he’s created."
Martinez Fischer said they have tried the case against Texas’ Voter ID law and presented to three-judge federal panel in Washington, D.C.
"I would only imagine that Greg Abbott were to try this case or have this case tried in 2015, we would have a brand new attorney general who is going to say, 'We want to do things our way and so we should let the legislature fix it now in 2015, so lets delay it again.'" Martinez Fischer said.
Martinez Fischer said voter ID is a tool to disenfranchise minorities as well as the elderly population of voters.
In response to these comments, Lauren Bean with the Attorney General office says they were not the only party involved in the lawsuit that requested a later trial date.
In a brief filed with the court Abbot writes, "In the interest of reducing voter confusion and maintaining public confidence in the State’s elections system, trial should either be set early enough to facilitate a decision before Texas begins to implement the November 2014 elections, or set for March 2015, as requested by a majority of parties in this case."