Tuesday, September 02, 2014

2 Sides Cite Discrimination as Battle on Texas Voting Law Heads to Court

By MANNY FERNANDEZ, NYT
SEPT. 1, 2014

HOUSTON — Minority groups and Democrats in Texas have loudly opposed a state law requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification before casting their ballots. But one of the law’s biggest critics can be found not in Texas but in Washington — Eric H. Holder Jr., the United States attorney general.

On Tuesday, in a federal courtroom in Corpus Christi, Tex., Justice Department lawyers will try to persuade a judge to strike down the voter ID law, the latest skirmish in a three-year legal battle over whether the law passed by the Republican-led Legislature in 2011 discriminates against blacks and Hispanics. If Texas loses the trial — which opens Tuesday and will last about two weeks — it could again be required to seek federal approval before making changes to its voting procedures, a level of oversight it was freed from by the United States Supreme Court.

The case has taken on a bitter political undertone, with Texas alleging that the Justice Department has gone after “only Southern, Republican-led states” and suggesting that the agency ignores the concerns of white Republican voters and favors minority Democratic voters. The allegations have outraged lawyers for the Justice Department and several minority groups, voters and Democratic lawmakers who are part of the agency’s lawsuit against Texas.

(More here.)

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