Jordy Yager, The Hill, August 22, 2013
The Justice Department will file a lawsuit against Texas on Thursday, arguing that the state’s voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act.
Attorney General Eric Holder vowed to fight state voting laws that the DOJ views as unfair or in violation of federal law, despite a recent Supreme Court decision striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).
“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,” Holder said in a statement.
Holder had promised to file the lawsuit one month after the Supreme Court decision came down in June. It will be filed against the state of Texas, the Texas secretary of State, and the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, according to a DOJ release.
The DOJ argues that Texas’s photo ID law — SB 14 — is unconstitutional and violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The department says Texas’s voter ID law “was adopted with the purpose, and will have the result, of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group.”
Justice also announced plans on Thursday to file a motion to intervene in the Perez v. Perry redistricting case, which will allow the government to present evidence about “the purpose and effect of the Texas redistricting plans,” according to the DOJ.
DOJ is arguing that Texas’s 2011 redistricting was done “with the purpose of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group.”