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Wed Mar 14, 2012, 07:49 PM

State of Texas seeks to Challenge Constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

The constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act may be headed to the SCOTUS. There is one case before the DC Circuit involving Shelby County that is challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and now the State of Texas is seeking permission to amend its lawsuit on the voter ID case to challenge Section 5. http://txredistricting.org/post/19303983519/texas-goes-big-on-section-5-makes-the

The State of Texas is seeking permission from the three-judge panel in the voter ID case to file an amended complaint that would directly challenge the constitutionality of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

The amended complaint told the court in the introduction that, as an alternative grounds for relief, “the State of Texas seeks a declaration that section 5, as most recently amended and reauthorized by the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress and conflicts with Article IV of the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment.”

With the filing, Texas now moves to the forefront, along with the Shelby County case out of Alabama, in re-raising the constitutional issue after the high court’s 2009 decision to punt the issue. However, because Texas’ case, unlike the Shelby County case, involves a three-judge panel, appeals from the case would go directly to the Supreme Court. That means Texas’ case has the potential for getting to the Supreme Court first, depending on how the timing works out. (Shelby County was argued in late January at the D.C. Circuit and is pending decision.)


The DOJ knew that this was a risk when the DOJ objected to the Texas voter suppression law and I hope that the DOJ is able to defend the constitutionality of Section 5. Objecting to the Texas Voter id law was the correct decision by the DOJ and I hope that the SCOTUS does not use this decision as an excuse to declare Section 5 unconstitutional

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Reply State of Texas seeks to Challenge Constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (Original post)
Gothmog Mar 2012 OP
muntrv Mar 2012 #1
railsback Mar 2012 #2
AndyTiedye Mar 2012 #3
Lone_Star_Dem Mar 2012 #6
sonias Mar 2012 #4
sonias Mar 2012 #5

Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Wed Mar 14, 2012, 08:11 PM

1. 15th Amendment, anyone?

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Wed Mar 14, 2012, 08:43 PM

2. Texas didn't provide any evidence of fraud.

 

In fact, they didn't provide any evidence, period. It was a no-brainer for the DOJ.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Wed Mar 14, 2012, 09:19 PM

3. I Hope So Too, But I Would't Bet On It

Getting the Voting Rights Act overturned would be a huge coup for the right wing.
It is hard to see the current USSC passing up such an opportunity.

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 11:02 PM

6. Abbott is not smart enought to accomplish that IMO.

I've a feeling this is just some prep work to soften up the Texas GOP base before he runs for governor.

I may well be wrong about this being more about Abbott and his ambitions, but I really don't think so. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing his mug popping up in all kinds of places between now and 2014.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 10:16 AM

4. It was going to happen anyway

The republicans have been itching for this fight for decades. It started in serious in Texas with the NaMundo#1 case in 2009 that went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.



I like you however hope that DOJ is prepared to fight for it. I also am glad to see we have a DOJ willing to fight for it. If this had been a republican administration - DOJ would have sided with the litigants against the VRA section 5.

I certainly do not trust the current make up of SCOTUS. They have the numbers 5-4 against us. I don't think Kennedy is going to side with us.

It will be a horrible case to see settled against us.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 04:33 PM

5. State tries to force challenge of U.S. voting law

AAS 3/15/12

State tries to force challenge of U.S. voting law

(snip)
Richard Hasen, an elections law professor at the University of California, Irvine, said Abbott's move could represent a dramatic shift in election law for Texas and all other states in the country. "That ups the ante," he said.

In the filing to a three-judge panel in Washington, the state asked to submit a petition charging that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act "exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress and conflicts with Article IV of the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment."

With the filing, Abbott is seeking permission to make a larger argument on the merits of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act itself. If the provision were overturned, Texas could make changes to its voting rules without federal approval.

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a San Antonio Democrat, said he was not surprised by Abbott's move.

"Nothing would please ... Abbott more than to rid the State of Texas of Section 5 pre-clearance obligations," he said.


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