NYT Labels AG Eric Holder Defender Of 'Minority Voters,' Ignores Poll Showing Minorities Back Voter ID Laws
In a speech before the National Urban League in Philadelphia, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the request would be the first of several legal salvos from the administration in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision. “My colleagues and I are determined to use every tool at our disposal,” he said, “to stand against such discrimination wherever it is found.”
Last month’s ruling, Shelby County v. Holder, did away with a requirement that Texas and eight other states, mostly in the South, get permission from the Justice Department or a federal court before changing election procedures. On Thursday, the administration asked a federal court in Texas to restore that “preclearance” requirement there, citing the state’s recent history and relying on a different part of the voting rights law.
Republicans harshly criticized the announcement, in a sign that both parties view the battle over voting laws as important to future elections.
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas cast Mr. Holder’s remarks as an attempt by the Obama administration to weaken the state’s voter-integrity laws and said the comments demonstrated the administration’s “utter contempt for our country’s system of checks and balances.”
“This end run around the Supreme Court undermines the will of the people of Texas, and casts unfair aspersions on our state’s common-sense efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections process,” Mr. Perry said in a statement.
For years, Republicans across the nation have pushed for tougher voter identification laws, shorter voting hours and other measures they say are intended to reduce voter fraud. The efforts have intensified across the South, from Texas to North Carolina, after the Supreme Court’s ruling freed many states and localities from federal oversight. Democrats have said the steps are intended to reduce voting by minorities, students and other heavily Democratic groups.
State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, Democrat of San Antonio, who is the chairman of the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus, said racial discrimination in Texas was not a thing of the past.
“The fact that intervention in Texas is the Department of Justice’s first action to protect voting rights following the Shelby County decision speaks volumes about the seriousness of Texas’ actions,” Mr. Fischer said.
“Texans should be proud that the resources of the federal government will be brought to bear to protect the voting rights of all,” he added.
|IN SOME PLACES A VOTER ID LAW IS AS USELESS AS A TIT ON A BULL|