- NTSB hearing on San Francisco airliner crash postponed
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford insists he has dried out, vows sobriety test
- Greenpeace video warns that climate change is wrecking Santa’s home
- Herman Cain profiled in ‘Political Power’ comic book
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
- Fire departments fear Obamacare will gut volunteer ranks
- Rep. Alan Grayson loses $18M in stock scheme
- Christmas secularists get 6-foot beer-can Festivus pole at Florida Statehouse
- George Zimmerman’s girlfriend flips on assault: Let ‘my boyfriend’ go
- Lululemon Athletica chairman quits after firestorm over his fat-thighs comment
Justice Dept. to press Texas on voting rights, despite ruling by Supreme Court
The Obama administration said Thursday that it will ask a federal court to require that Texas receive federal approval before it makes changes to its voting laws, opening up another battle front in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling last month that struck down a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Speaking at the National Urban League’s annual conference in Philadelphia, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that the Justice Department is asking a federal court in Texas to make the state seek approval from either his office or a federal court before state officials tweak voting laws.
“Even as Congress considers updates to the Voting Rights Act in light of the court’s ruling, we plan, in the meantime, to fully utilize the law’s remaining sections to ensure that the voting rights of all American citizens are protected,” Mr. Holder said.
“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, a Republican, said.
Mr. Holder’s announcement marked his department’s first — but, in his words, “not last” — legal response to the high court’s 5-4 ruling last month that said states should not longer be held to account for voter discrimination that occurred decades ago because the country has changed since the racially charged laws of the civil rights era.
The court struck invalidated the heart of the law, Section 4, which required primarily Southern states to undergo special scrutiny before changing their voting laws.
The court said the requirement was based on a 40-year-old formula that is no longer relevant.
“Congress — if it is to divide the states — must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions. It cannot rely simply on the past,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority, which was composed of the court’s conservative-leaning justices.
The ruling raised doubts about how the Justice Department could enforce Section 5 of the law, which requires that states receive permission from federal authorities before changing their voting laws.
Several states, meanwhile, including Texas and North Carolina, welcomed the ruling and have since moved to pass new restrictions on voting eligibility.
On Thursday, Mr. Holder called the ruling “flawed” and said the requirement of “pre-clearance” has “proven to be an effective mechanism that puts on hold any new voting changes until they have been subjected to a fair, and thorough, review.”
Seeking a remedy, he said, his office would turn to another part of the same law, Section 3, in order to reimpose the need for federal approval on Texas.
“We believe that the state of Texas should be required to go through a pre-clearance process whenever it changes its voting laws and practices,” Mr. Holder said.
Back on Capitol Hill, Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, said that it is clear that Mr. Holder “will stop at nothing, from a political standpoint, in order to try to do an end run not only around the Texas Legislature but around the Supreme Court of the United States.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Obama's IRS nominee John Koskinen vows to restore public trust in agency
- Senate confirms Obama judge following filibuster rule change
- Sen. Rand Paul: 'I am seriously thinking about' running for president in 2016
- Sen. Rand Paul pushes 'economic freedom zones' for Detroit
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
Latest Blog Entries
- Senate Conservative Fund backs GOP primary challenger to Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts
- GOP rolls out ad targeting Dems over Obamacare
- Club for Growth won't get involved in GOP primary in Texas
- Rep. Steny Hoyer: Details of potential budget deal unknown
- House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer: No extremists on our side of the aisle
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Oregon fails to sign up single person on health care website as states struggle
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- George Zimmermans girlfriend flips on assault: Let my boyfriend go
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Notes from a running nerd: musings and more on all things running.
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow