The Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal to stop Texas from enforcing its challenged voter ID law. But the court said it could revisit the issue as the November elections approach.
The law has been in effect for recent elections, even after a trial judge struck it down in 2014 and an appellate panel found last year that the law had a discriminatory effect on minority voters.
The challengers in the ongoing lawsuit argue there is no reason to allow the requirement to show picture identification at the polls to remain in place.
But justices rejected the plea in a brief order Friday. The full New Orleans-based appeals court will hold a new hearing on the Texas law in May.
The high court said that it is aware of "the time constraints the parties confront in light of the scheduled elections." If the full appeals court has not issued a ruling by July 20, the court said, it would entertain a renewed emergency appeal over the voter ID law.
Gerry Hebert, who runs the public interest law firm that represents Texas voters challenging the law, said Friday's order gives his clients a chance to again ask the Supreme Court for help if the appeals court does not rule quickly. "This order gives us the opportunity to protect Texas voters if the 5th Circuit fails to rule in time," said Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center.