Texas Sued: Justice Dept. Files Over Voter ID Laws


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The AP has the story: the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit yesterday against the state of Texas. Texas maintains redistricting laws that various minority groups claim are discriminatory in nature.

Attorney General Eric Holder said of the lawsuit that "this represents the department's latest action to protect voting rights, but it will not be our last." He also said that recent Supreme Court rulings give nobody free reign to suppress voter's rights.

Texas has been battling it out over voter ID laws for a while now, and federal judges in Washington have decided that Texas voter ID laws either indirectly disenfranchise the poor and minorities OR they intentionally discriminate against minorities, although a decision was unable to be reached on whether the former or the latter is the case. Texas is the only state to have been found to intentionally discriminate against minorities.

Texas governor Rick Perry said the suit is representative of a complete disregard for the 10th Amendment, and that President Obama's administration is doing an "end run around the Supreme Court... The filing of endless litigation in an effort to obstruct the will of the people of Texas is what we have come to expect from Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama."

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, apologist of the discriminatory laws and considered a gubernatorial potential, believes "Eric Holder is wrong to mess with Texas" and that "by intervening in the redistricting case, the Obama DOJ is predictably joining with Democrat state legislators and Members of Congress and the Texas Democratic Party, who are already suing the State."

A Texas state representative and chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, Trey Martinez Fischer, thinks that his fellow Texans are wrong in this regard and that the federal suit could not have come at a better time. In a statement, he said that "federal courts have ruled time and again that government officials in Texas are systematically making it harder for minorities to vote... I am confident that the overwhelming evidence demonstrating intentional discrimination in Texas, when presented in court, will compel state officials to remove barriers to voting that will disenfranchise far too many of our citizens."

Image courtesy the Wikimedia Commons.