A federal judge recently ruled that Dallas County has no business being involved in a lawsuit against Texas over its Voter ID Law.
The county bankrolled the partisan lawsuit using taxpayers’ money.
The Voter ID Law passed in Texas in 2011, and Democratic Congressman Marc Veasey, the U.S. Justice Department and a number of others, including two Texas counties, joined the lawsuit challenging the law.
Last summer, Commissioner Mike Cantrell balked over Dallas County voting to join the federal lawsuit and then voting to spend $275,000 to help pay for that lawsuit.
“This is not something that our taxpayers should be on the tab for,” said Cantrell. Turns out, Cantrell was right.
Judge Nelva Gonzales-Ramos dismissed Dallas and Hidalgo counties from the lawsuit and wrote in her ruling, "...the counties' problem is that they do not exist to advance certain individual voting rights."
“Dallas County's bank account was raided of over a quarter million dollars and put into this case we funded,” said Cantrell.
Cantrell, the lone Republican on the court, stood alone in his opposition to the lawsuit that he says went nowhere until his commissioner counterparts, by a vote of 4-to-1, agreed to fund it.
“There wasn’t any money for the expenses in the lawsuit to move it forward,” said Cantrell.
“UntilDallas County wrote a check?” asked FOX 4.
“That’s correct,” said Cantrell.
However, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins feels spending the money was justified.
“I feel the money was spent properly and Dallas County will do what’s necessary to protect our citizens’ right to vote,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins points out that the lawsuit itself was not dismissed.
“We've spent that money and we've gotten the evidence before the judge that illustrates the discriminatory effect of this law and what it does to our citizens here in Dallas County,” said Jenkins.
It’s important to note that he judge did not say the case had no merit and that the plaintiffs shouldn’t pursue their claims. The case will go forward and, at some point, will be heard in federal court.
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