The PJ Tatler

Breaking: Holder Files First Section 2 Case in Four Years Against Texas Voter ID

The Obama administration, breaking four years of inactivity in enforcing Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and has filed a Section 2 action against Texas Voter ID.  Read the press release here.

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is the law which bans intentional racial discrimination in voting, or, bans laws which have the result of racial discrimination.  The DOJ action makes it less likely that Congress will amend Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, and thereby put Texas and other states back under federal oversight, oversight which the Supreme Court ended in June.  Like a thug, Holder throws in a threat to other states about more actions coming:

The Department of Justice announced today that it will file a new lawsuit against the State of Texas, the Texas Secretary of State, and the Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety over the State’s strict voter photo identification law (SB 14). The United States’ complaint seeks a declaration that SB 14 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the voting guarantees of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Separately, the Department is filing a motion to intervene as a party and a complaint in intervention against the State of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State in the ongoing case of Perez v. Perry (W.D. Tex.), which concerns the state’s redistricting laws. The United States had already filed a statement of interest in this case last month. Today’s action represents a new step by the Department in this case that will allow the United States to formally present evidence about the purpose and effect of the Texas redistricting plans.

“Today’s action marks another step forward in the Justice Department’s continuing effort to protect the voting rights of all eligible Americans,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “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 Department will take action against jurisdictions that attempt to hinder access to the ballot box, no matter where it occurs.  We will keep fighting aggressively to prevent voter disenfranchisement. We are determined to use all available authorities, including remaining sections of the Voting Rights Act, to guard against discrimination and, where appropriate, to ask federal courts to require preclearance of new voting changes.  This represents the Department’s latest action to protect voting rights, but it will not be our last.”

Once upon a time, in another era, the Justice Department didn’t make threats.  It didn’t threaten or boast about future litigation it had neither approved nor filed.  But these days, Holder’s Justice Department is all about threats, boasts and political mobilization.  The case today was about mobilizing the Democrat base before the 2014 midterms, and little else.