State Sen. Mario Gallegos, a Houston Democrat who last year violated doctor's orders when he returned to Austin soon after undergoing liver-transplant surgery to block legislation that would have required Texas voters to show photo ID before casting their ballots, has little use for today's Supreme Court ruling upholding voter ID laws from other states.
“I’m saddened that the Supreme Court has chosen to legalize discrimination," Gallegos said in a news release. "But just because the court’s decision indicates that it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s right."
Gallegos missed much of the 2007 legislative session because of his illness that caused the need for the transplant. When he did return to the Capitol, colleagues provided him a hospital bed in a room adjacent to the Senate chamber.
And two Republican senators who are physicians and supported the legislation that Gallegos returned to stifle, regularly monitored his health while he rested while the Senate conducted his business. The whole scene made national news.
Now that the Supreme Court has basically given state's like Texas the green light to pass voter ID, Gallegos says he's still planning to fight the effort.
“I have opposed voter ID legislation before, and I’ll oppose it again," he said. "As long as my constituents are in danger of suffering the indignity of being disenfranchised by an unjust law, I will oppose that and all similar legislation.”
That could set up another confrontation between Senate Democrats and GOP Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the chamber's president and a supporter of voter ID.
"With this legal challenge behind us, I look forward to passing a fair voter ID law in Texas next year that fully protects the voting rights of all U.S. citizens registered to vote in Texas," Dewhurst said in a statement of his own.