The Justice Department said Thursday that it will file a new lawsuit against Texas to try to block the state’s voter ID law.
“Today’s action marks another step forward in the Justice Department’s continuing effort to protect the voting rights of all eligible Americans,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the lawsuit.
“We will not allow the Supreme Court’s recent decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights.”
The DoJ will claim that Texas’ voter ID law was adopted with the purpose — and will have the effect of — “denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, colour, or membership in a language minority group.” It will challenge the law under Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act. If the DoJ proves intentional discrimination, they could require Texas to get pre-clearance from the department before new election laws go into effect.
The lawsuit is the second action taken by the Department of Justice against Texas since the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 earlier this year. And it’s part of a new front in the Justice Department’s political battle with states over imposing new rules and restrictions on voting.
In July, Holder announced that the DoJ would ask a federal judge to require Texas to obtain pre-clearance from the department as part of its redistricting process, due to evidence of what Holder called “intentional voting discrimination.”
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