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Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:43 AM

Department of Justice to sue Texas over Voter ID law

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2013/August/13-ag-952.html

Justice Department to File New Lawsuit Against State of Texas Over Voter I.D. Law
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.”

In the voter ID lawsuit, the United States’ complaint contends that SB 14 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. The complaint asks the court to prohibit Texas from enforcing the requirements of its law, and also requests that the court order bail-in relief under Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act. If granted, this would subject Texas to a new preclearance requirement.

In the Department’s other filing announced today, the United States seeks a declaration that Texas’s 2011 redistricting plans for the U.S. Congress and the Texas State House of Representatives were adopted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group in violation of Section 2, as well as the voting guarantees of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The complaint also requests that the court order bail-in pursuant to Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act, to remedy persistent, intentional discrimination in voting within the State of Texas.

“The Department of Justice will use all the tools it has available to ensure that each citizen can cast a ballot free from impermissible discrimination,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The right to the franchise is one of the most fundamental promises of American democracy.”

If the federal courts in either the redistricting or voter identification cases find that the State of Texas should be covered by Section 3(c), then the State would be required to submit voting changes to the U.S. Attorney General or to the federal court for review prior to implementation to ensure that the changes do not have a discriminatory effect or a discriminatory purpose. The Department has previously participated as amicus in the Perez case, and last month advised the federal court in Texas that the Department believed the imposition of a new preclearance requirement on Texas under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act was appropriate. Today’s filing asks the Court to allow the Department to participate as a party in further proceedings on the question of whether Texas should be made subject to Section 3(c).

A federal court in the District of Columbia has previously held that Texas had failed to meet its burden of proving that its 2011 redistricting plans and its 2011 voter identification law were not discriminatory under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. These decisions were vacated after the Supreme Court’s June decision in Shelby County v. Holder. The Supreme Court’s decision left unaffected the non-discrimination requirements of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the bail-in provisions of Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act, and today’s filings seek to enforce those important protections.

The filings in the Texas redistricting and Texas voter identification matters will be available on the Civil Rights Division’s website later today. More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/. Complaints about discriminatory voting practices may be reported to the Voting Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division at 1-800-253-3931.
This is the DU member formerly known as Gothmog.

11 replies, 1506 views

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:51 AM

1. Here is Houston Paper Story

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:51 AM

2. When the Supreme Court knocked down that one provision of the Voting Rights Act

Republican legislatures celebrated thinking they could do anything they want. What the SC got rid of though was a formula to decide which states had to AUTOMATICALLY submit any changes to their voting procedures. The Justice Department still reserves the right to go after states that try to screw over their voting population.

What's funny is that the Texas AG crowed that they would be able to do anything they wanted without the feds jumping on them.

TlalocW

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:00 PM

3. I don't think a Section 2 VRA suit goes far enough

I think the DOJ ought to sue to nullify the Voter ID laws based on a 24th Amendment violation, since it amounts to a poll tax. Even if ID are ostensibly free, the supporting documents are not, if you can manage to get them.

Photo ID as a condition to vote not only discriminates on the basis of race, color, or native language, it also discriminates against women, most of whom change their names because of marriage and/or divorce (a 19th Amendment violation); young voters between 18 and 20, especially students (a 26th Amendment violation), and the elderly and disabled--, most whom either never had drivers' license or whose drivers' licenses have been surrendered or revoked due to incompetence to drive.

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Response to meow2u3 (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:07 PM

4. The Missouri State Supreme Court ruled that a very similar law was a poll tax

Weinschenk v. State, 203 SW 3d 201 - Mo: Supreme Court 2006- The Missouri state Supreme Court held that a voter id law that required a birth certificate to vote was a poll tax. I have a feeling that the ACLU or the League of Women Voter may bring this claim in a separate state court case.

This is the DU member formerly known as Gothmog.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:08 PM

5. Now add in NC

 

These bastards must be stopped!!

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:37 PM

6. I think that it is clear from the press release that NC is on the DOJ's list

Texas may be first her in that there was already litigation on the voter id law with a finding from the DC Circuit that the Texas voter id law was discriminatory. The DOJ can use the findings from that case in this lawsuit
This is the DU member formerly known as Gothmog.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:02 PM

7. Talking Points Memo has good explanation as to why Texas was first

http://editors.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/08/north_carolina_next.php

It seems pretty clear that the Justice Department is testing out the extent of its powers under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act against Texas first because Texas is a much stronger case. It’s not easy to prove intentional discrimination, which is the bar that DOJ must now meet, since the Supreme Court’s June decision that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional. But lucky for DOJ, a federal court has already ruled in an earlier case that a Texas redistricting map was deliberately discriminatory. That gives DOJ a leg up as it argues that Texas should be subjected to stricter oversight under the law. Today’s new effort by DOJ to block the Texas voter ID law follows the same basic theory.


It is hard to prove intentional discrimination and there were judicial findings of discrimination in the Texas cases. The DOJ will have an easier time in Texas but it appears clear that North Carolina will be targeted.
This is the DU member formerly known as Gothmog.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:50 PM

8. R#7 & K for, go HOLDER, go!1 n/t

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:01 PM

9. Pretty pathetic when a Party cant allow the Democrats to win fairly

They seem to not care how badly they insult minorities, women, well everyone. They don't seem to be trying any outreach at all...like they are depending on one thing. Rigging the game. They've rigged everything else.

As they are doing so, listen to what they are saying...We're the constitutionalists, patriots of liberty, democracy..as they deny Democrats to win a fair election.

Pathetic, they lost, Party's over. or is this a coup?

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 06:44 PM

10. Greg Abbott is lying about the Voter id law

Greg Abbott has responded to the DOJ’s decision to file suit on Texas’ voter id law by claiming that a recent case of voter fraud shows that this law is necessary. http://txredistricting.org/post/59048626661/texas-attorney-general-greg-abbotts-press-statement-on

“Just days after the U.S. Department of Justice arrested a Texas woman for illegally voting five times in the same election, the Obama administration is suing to stop Texas’ commonsense voter ID law. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter ID laws do not suppress legal votes, but do help prevent illegal votes. Voter IDs have nothing to do with race and they are free to anyone who needs one. Eric Holder’s outrageous claim that voter ID is a racist plot to disenfranchise minority voters is gutter politics and is offensive to the overwhelming majority of Texans of all races who support this ballot integrity measure.


The case in question involved absentee ballot fraud and Texas’ voter id law would have done nothing to stop this fraud http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_6b379594-0a6c-11e3-917e-0019bb30f31a.html

According to the indictment against Solis, she voted in the names of Samuel Pedraza, Francisco Pedraza, Cynthia Pedraza, Dannie Vargas and Issic Guerra in that primary runoff by absentee ballot.


SB 14 does not apply to or deal with absentee voting or voting by mail.
This is the DU member formerly known as Gothmog.

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #10)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:30 PM

11. Juanita Jean is also calling Greg Abbot a liar

http://juanitajean.com/2013/08/23/its-not-like-texas-cant-be-trusted-or-anything/

You do not have to show a voter ID to vote by absentee ballot. See what I mean about Gregg Abbott not being able to read to the end of a sentence? His vicious law would do diddle squat to stop this.

And as far as picture ID’s being free, that’s true. They are free as long as you have $21 for a certified birth certificate and all day to stand in line at the DMV.

This is the DU member formerly known as Gothmog.

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