US judge bars enforcement of Georgia voter ID law

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court in Northern Georgia granted a temporary injunction Tuesday against the enforcement of a Georgia law [PDF text] that requires voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot. Georgia officials argued the rule, which the governor signed into law in April [JURIST report] was necessary to prevent voter fraud. Based on the same reasoning, the US Department of Justice approved the law [JURIST report] in August. DOJ approval is required under the 1965 Voting Rights Act [DOJ backgrounder] for all changes in voting requirements in states with a history of suppressing minority votes. Several rights groups filed a lawsuit [PDF complaint] challenging the law last month, and in a 123-page ruling [PDF text], District Judge Harold Murphy [FJC profile] issued the injunction based on a finding of substantial likelihood that the plaintiffs will succeed on their claims that the voter ID law functions like a poll tax, and goes beyond what is necessary to prevent voter fraud. AP has more. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has local coverage.

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