Veasey v. Abbott: Decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Aug 5, 2015

Courts vacates the district court’s judgment that SB 14 was passed with a racially discriminatory purpose and remands for further consideration of Plaintiffs’ discriminatory purpose claims, using the proper legal standards and evidence. Court vacates the district court’s holding that SB 14 is a poll tax under the Fourteenth and Twenty-Fourth Amendments and renders judgment for the State on this issue. Court does not address whether SB 14 unconstitutionally burdens the right to vote under the First and Fourteenth Amendments; therefore, Court vacates the district court’s judgment on that issue and dismisses those claims. Court affirms the district court’s finding that SB 14 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act through its discriminatory effects and remands for consideration of the appropriate remedy. Finally, on remand, the district court should: (1) give further consideration to its discriminatory purpose findings as specified herein; and (2) if the district court does not find that SB 14 was imposed with a discriminatory purpose, consider what remedy it should grant due to SB 14’s discriminatory problematic.”). Court does not further opine on this issue at this time, leaving it to the district court in the first instance on remand. Case: 14-41127 Document: 00513142615 Page: 50 Date Filed: 08/05/2015 No. 14-41127 49 effect in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, taking account of any impact of SB 983 and this opinion. It is left to the district court in the first instance to decide whether any additional evidence may be proffered on the matters remanded.

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