A federal appeals court has ruled that Wisconsin’s elections commission violated the Voting Rights Act when it refused to enforce new voter identification laws that critics say could disenfranchise minorities.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday declined to hear a lawsuit by a group of civil rights and voting rights groups that sought a temporary restraining order on the state’s election board’s efforts to implement the laws.
The law, which took effect in October, requires all voters who register to vote to provide photo identification and the state board of elections will have to verify voters’ citizenship with the Justice Department.
Critics say the new laws disproportionately affect minorities and voters who lack a college degree, and the U.N. says they disproportionately impact people of color.
Wisconsin election boards have a long history of making decisions about elections that disproportionately impact minorities.
A report from the Brennan Center for Justice found that Wisconsin was the first state to implement an election law that disproportionately affected voters of color, and that nearly 60 percent of all voting-age African Americans were barred from voting because of their race.
In 2016, a federal judge ruled that a Wisconsin election board could not discriminate against African American voters by requiring them to show a photo ID in order to vote.
The state appealed that ruling, and a lower court agreed, but the U,S.
Supreme Court agreed to hear that appeal.
In February, the U.,S.
and Wisconsin appealed that decision.
In response to that decision, the state asked the Supreme Court to take the case and hear it on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court, however, refused to hear the case.
In June, the high court declined to take up the case, leaving the U to decide whether the Wisconsin elections board can still enforce the law.
The U.K. and other countries have passed laws requiring voters to show ID in many states, and other states have been moving to enact similar laws.
In 2017, Wisconsin voters were required to show the correct state-issued photo ID at the polls.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.