Texas AG Sues Feds Over Voter ID Law

On January 23, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asked a federal court to clear the way for his state’s voter ID law while he awaits to hear what will happen with his demands that the Department of Justice drop its objections to the Texas law.

Abbott filed an expedited complaint for declaratory judgement (see complaint HERE) based on the fact that several other states have also enacted voter ID laws not to mention that the U.S. Supreme Court has already upheld such laws.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter identification laws are constitutional,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Texas should be allowed the same authority other states have to protect the integrity of elections. To fast-track that authority, Texas is taking legal action in a D.C. Court seeking approval of its voter identification law.”

Last year the Department of Justice under U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stymied the Texas law by barraging the state with demands for “additional information,” a stalling tactic that prevented the state from being able to implement the law. Under the Voting Rights Act the federal government has another six weeks before it must issue a ruling.

In a speech delivered in Austin, AG Holder decried the Texas voter ID law and vowed to prevent it from going into force claiming that such laws discriminate against minorities. True the Vote was there to counter Holder’s resistance.

The Texas AG, however, insists that the the Lone Star State’s voter ID law is not discriminatory.

Texans who do not already have a driver’s license, passport, military identification card, or other approved form of identification can get a state-issued voter identification card free of charge from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Additionally, anyone who is disabled or over the age of 65 can vote by mail, which allows them to use mail-in ballots without having to get a photo identification.

Interestingly, this particular fight shows what a difference an activist President and his appointments can make. Previous administrations supported such laws but as soon as Eric Holder took control of the DOJ that support was quickly reversed.

As the blog Election Law Center notes:

Before the current administration, the DOJ strongly supported voter identification. In fact, the DOJ filed a brief defending the Indiana voter identification law when it was challenged at the Supreme Court. At that time, the DOJ said, “in-person voter fraud is difficult to detect without rigorous ID requirements.” Now, the DOJ is adopting the opposite position on voter identification.

Both South Carolina and Alabama are engaged in efforts to implement voter ID laws.

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