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The Brief: Oct. 10, 2014

A federal district judge in Corpus Christi ruled against the state's voter ID law, injecting a note of drama into the run-up to the general elections.

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The Big Conversation

A federal district judge in Corpus Christi ruled against the state's voter ID law, injecting a note of drama into the run-up to the general elections.

In a blunt but not entirely unexpected ruling issued Thursday evening, District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos — a President Barack Obama appointee — held not just that the law "creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote," but that the law had a discriminatory effect and was enacted by lawmakers with discriminatory intent. In addition, she ruled the law created an unconstitutional poll tax.

Her ruling included an injunction against enforcing the provisions of the law requiring voters to show photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was quick, though, on Thursday evening to signal his intent to appeal to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals where conservatives feel they have an ally in that judicial body.

In other words, it is still far from clear whether this new ruling will have sway over the upcoming general elections, early voting for which begins just 10 days from now.

Trib Must-Reads

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5th Circuit Refuses to Reconsider Abortion Lawsuit, by Alexa Ura

Lone Debate in U.S. Senate Race May Only Air in Spanish, by Aman Batheja


Cruz rallies Kansas conservatives, The Hill

Voter registration spikes in Texas's largest counties, MSNBC

Kennedy: For Wendy Davis, unsure footing with Latinos dates back to first campaign, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

On Immigration, Texas GOP Steers Right, National Journal

Hospital releases new details about Dallas Ebola victim's treatment, The Dallas Morning News

Texas GIs to play key role in Ebola mission, San Antonio Express-News

Hospital district PAC raises $400K from five hospitals, McAllen Monitor

'Hook 'em Horns' hand sign creator dies, Houston Chronicle

Quote to Note

“We didn’t do a very good job of keeping them from leaving.”

— Baylor University Medical Center President John McWhorter after a report found instances of psychiatric patients walking away before the conclusion of treatment. The revelation could endanger federal funding worth hundreds of millions if the situation is not remedied.

Today in TribTalk

Texas' forgotten heroes, by Mike Gonzalez

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Sam Houston, 2014 Democratic Nominee for Attorney General, on Oct. 16 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With state Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, and state Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, on Oct. 22 at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches

•    A Conversation With Railroad Commission Candidates Steve Brown and Ryan Sitton, on Oct. 30 at The Austin Club in Austin

•    A One-Day Symposium on the Impact of the Shale Boom on Oct. 31 at the University of Texas San Antonio

•    A Live Post-Election TribCast, featuring Tribune editors and reporters on the election results, on Nov. 5 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick on Nov. 6 at The Austin Club

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