Texas Voter Photo ID and Detroit Water cases updates

LDF is fighting to stop water shutoffs in Detroit as we also challenge Texas’ discriminatory photo ID law. 

Today, a two-week trial begins in United States v. Texas, a federal challenge to Texas’s discriminatory photo ID law, Senate Bill 14.  In this case with important national implications, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and its co-counsel law firm Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr LLP (WilmerHale), represent the Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund and Imani Clark. Ms. Clark, an undergraduate student at Prairie View A & M University, a historically Black Texas university, previously voted using her student ID but does not have the photo ID that Texas is now requiring.

Meanwhile, this morning, at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (231 West Lafayette Blvd), civil rights lawyers argued that a moratorium that had prevented water shutoffs to thousands of Detroit residents and families should be continued until procedures are in place to protect residents from arbitrary shutoffs. The moratorium that had been in place and prevented water shutoffs to over 17,000 residences ended this past Monday.

In one egregious example, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) threatened to shut-off water to an elderly, bedridden woman whose feeding tube required water to function. When the resident’s daughter called to inform DWSD that she would be unable to pay the bill before the shut-off date, she was not told that she could apply for an emergency medical postponement, nor was she given the opportunity to enter into a payment plan she could afford.

Click here to read more about our work in Detroit and Texas