Holder said yesterday in a speech to the National Urban League in Philadelphia that “we believe that the state of Texas should be required to go through a preclearance process whenever it changes its voting laws and practices.”
Texas, Holder said, has a history of “pervasive voting-related discrimination against racial minorities.”
He said to a chorus of cheers, “today, I am announcing that the Justice Department will ask a federal court in Texas to subject the State of Texas to a pre-clearance regime, similar to the one required by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.”
Watch courtesy of MSNBC:
Sen John Cornyn (R-TX) says – yes, he did go there – that Holder is advancing a “partisan political agenda.”
Because Republicans lose if everybody – not just white people – is allowed to vote – that’s all wanting to let everybody vote could be, right?
Christian nationalist Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who wants to ignore the Constitution to turn the United States into a theocracy controlled by his thuggish religious extremist pals, said Holder’s action is just more of the Justice Department’s “longstanding pattern of refusing to follow the law.”
Likewise, Holder continues to attack voter ID laws, even though the Supreme Court has concluded that voter ID laws are supported by multiple interests that are ‘unquestionably relevant to the State’s interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process.’
Having done all in his power to sow a racial divide by ensuring minorities have no say in who runs the state, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot announced that the Obama administration is “sowing racial divide.”
Republicans are acting like the Supreme Court’s Voting Right Act decision has given free rein to their fantasies of a Texas (and North Carolina – the old Confederacy really) becoming once again a whites-only club. But Holder said,
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.
The goal does not sound partisan at all. The key here is the word “all citizens” – which stands in start contrast to the Republican goal of “all white citizens.”
Showing what he thinks of our democracy, Abbot calls the demand that everyone being allowed to vote “political theater.”
Holder wants a federal court in San Antonio to require the state of Texas to obtain prior approval for changes to voting laws. The Justice Department argued in its filing that, “in every redistricting cycle since 1970, courts have similarly found that one or more of Texas’ statewide redistricting plans violated the voting guarantees of the Constitution or provisions of the Voting Rights Act.”
If he gets his way, this preapproval requirement would be in effect for 10 years and “beyond 10 years in the event of further discriminatory acts.”
Of course, Rick Perry, who has previously announced that democracy will no longer be tolerated in Texas, said in a statement,
Once again, the Obama Administration is demonstrating utter contempt for our country’s system of checks and balances, not to mention the U.S. Constitution. 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.
The Republican Party will learn that the Obama administration will not surrender meekly to its injustices, or to the theft of our precious democracy.
We, as liberal-minded Americans, are fighting for our collective future, for the promise of the Constitution’s promise of the equality of all before the law.
Republicans are fighting for the continuation and re-implementation of white privilege, an artifact not of a modern liberal democracy, but of racial and religious bigotry and hatred – a byproduct of an era -the old Confederacy – long overdue for the dustbin of history.