Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Block Texas Voter ID Law
The Justice Department has announced its intent to sue the state of Texas over its voter ID law.
The law was passed after the recent Supreme Court decision that threw out a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, and requires that voters present government-issued photo identification. Student IDs are not permissible.
The lawsuit will contend that the new law is an attempt to deny or restrict the right to vote to minorities, students, and the elderly.
“This represents the department’s latest action to protect voting rights, but it will not be our last,” said the attorney general.
On June 25, the Supreme Court threw out the most powerful part of the Voting Rights Act, whose enactment in 1965 marked a major turning point in black Americans’ struggle for equal rights and political power. The Justice Department’s legal action in Texas is based on another provision in the law. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has called the Obama administration’s actions an “end-run around the Supreme Court.”
Intervening in the redistricting case would enable the federal government to seek a declaration that Texas’s 2011 redistricting plans for the U.S. Congress and the Texas State House of Representatives were adopted in order to deny or restrict the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group.
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