Monday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit against the U.S. Dept. of Justice to seek a federal court’s approval to implement the Texas voter identification law.
For the past few months, the DOJ has been reviewing the voter ID law to ensure that it does not bring a disadvantage to any minority voters.
Abbott released a statement saying, “The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter identification laws are constitutional. 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.”
States like Texas, with a documented history of voter discrimination, have to get what’s known as “preclearance” from the DOJ before voter ID laws can be implemented.
The lawsuit states, “Even if DOJ contends that (the Texas law) has the unintended effect of ‘denying’ or ‘abridging’ the voting rights of those who do not possess a government-issued photo identification, it does not do so on account of their race or color - it does so on account of their decision not to obtain the identification that the state offers free of charge.”
In its letter to South Carolina – a state with the same voter discrimination history – the DOJ claimed its decision to deny preclearance of their voter ID law was based on its possibly negative effects on minority voters, just as in Texas.
The denial is said to have been based on the fact that the number of minority voters without government–issued identification was substantially higher than for their white counterparts.