Voter Suppression

Texas Has a Problem with the Voting Rights Act

The Perry Administration does not like laws that prevent Texas from disenfranchising large swaths of voters, so the state's lawsuit against the federal government is being amended to include a direct challenge of the Voting Rights Act.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has amended the state’s lawsuit against the federal government over the rejections of their voter ID law to include a direct strike at the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.

Abbott argues in the amended complaint that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, amended by Congress in 2006, “exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress and conflicts with Article IV of the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment.”

“For the Department of Justice to now contend that Texas cannot implement its voter ID law denies Texas the ability to do what other states can rightfully exercise under the Constitution,” Abbott said in a statement.

The Department of Justice is blocking Texas' new voter suppression ID law because it is discriminatory toward Hispanic voters. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires that states with a history of racial discrimination gain approval from Washington for changes to their election laws.

This is why the state of Texas is now directly challenging the content of the Voting Rights Act. Because it's serving its intended purpose and prohibiting Texas from doing exactly what the law was designed to prohibit.

It seems unlikely to me that their challenge will be successful, but I would like to thank the Rick Perry Administration for removing any doubt that may have existed over their true motives.

  • Miranda

    They are who we thought they were.

  • xyzzx

    My 90 year old mother in law will not be able to vote because she does not have an official STATE Phot ID card .. She does not drive and she lives 35 miles from a drivers license office… In the past she has used her Texas Voter registration card to vote, and for other purposes, her military ID, but I understand it wont suffice. She has never missed voting in an election, but is battling cancer and planned to vote absentee… I’ve been told she MUST have the state photo id card…. This law discriminates against the aged, minorities, students, and poor…. And who usually votes Democratic??? The aged, minorities, students, and the poor… Coincidence?? I think not…

  • rikyrah

    I want the bullshyt stripped from their motives too.

  • muselet

    I hope you’re right, but I’d feel a lot more confident that Texas’s lawsuit will fail if we didn’t have a number of Supreme Court justices who have expressed open … well, I’ll be polite and say skepticism about all anti-discrimination measures.


  • Razor

    What Century is This?™

  • D_C_Wilson

    Once again, we have an example of the republican party’s selective reading of the Constitution. They always stop at the 10th Amendment and forget that their are other amendments. You know, like the 14th, which forbids states from denying citizens their rights, especially the right to vote!

  • Not Sayin

    I live here. I’m totally stunned – I just can’t believe more people aren’t talking about this. My hsuband and others think it’s “no big deal”. Of course, I am in a minority of sorts here because of my belief that if you live in Texas (or anywhere in the US) and you work here and you raise your children here then you get to vote here. I’m not concerned with where you’re from. One person, one vote. I don’t think people should get to vote twice, but with as low as the turnout is every time, it wouldn’t matter anyway. There’s not one state or local election in Texas that someone can point to and prove that a voter ID law would have forced a different result.

    I called a local baker who advertised in our neighborhood newsletter – she bakes cakes. We spoke via email and I walked to her house yesterday morning to order my daughter’s birthday cake for next week. I was not expecting who I met. A beautiful woman, easily six feet tall, with long hair, amazing eyes and a smile to blind me answered the door. She also turned out to be patient and kind and thoughtful. She has a husband and triplet boys – all 5. She informed me they are from Chile. I managed to discuss what kind of cake I wanted to order while swooning from the miracle of discovering this happy, beautiful woman and her happy, beautiful family in my own neighborhood. I don’t know or care about their immigration status. All I know is, better than 90% of people in Texas would assume from her lovely accent that she is from Mexico and because Spanish is spoken in their home exclusively save for company/customers, that they are somehow un-American.

    These are potentially the kinds of people that would be hurt by some rigged-up voter ID law. It would be a shame. She and I discussed the Texas Cottage Law which allows people to operate home bakeries. We discussed what a victory the passage of the law was as well as who helped make it happen. She was very very informed and had been following the passage of SB 81 closely during 2011.

    I don’t understand Rick Perry or Greg Abbott. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with people. All I can say is, I hope they get the definitive “go pound sand” as a response to their bullshit.

    • D_C_Wilson

      The mindset of people like Rick Perry and Greg Abbott is pretty easy to understand. They know that because of their policies, trying to get the Hispanic or black vote is a lost cause. So, their best bet for staying in power is to keep as many non-whites away from the polls as possible.