The Department of Justice will withdraw from a legal challenge to Texas’ voter ID law, after the state legislature enacted several legislative fixes to the law to assuage the Department’s concerns.
Reuters reports that the Department filed a motion informing the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas that it would withdraw from a challenge to the law because the state’s new amendment to the statute “removes any ‘discriminatory effect’ or intent the Court found … and advances Texas’s legitimate ‘policy objectives’ in adopting a voter ID law.” The amendment Texas adopted eased some of the law’s photo identification requirements.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law had a discriminatory effect on minority voters, but remanded the question of discriminatory intent back to a lower court. Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling, but the justices passed on involving themselves in the case earlier in 2017. Chief Justice John Roberts strongly suggested the high court would eventually hear the case in a statement issued concurrently with the denial of review.
“The Department of Justice has completed the conversion from a vote protector to a vote suppressor,” said Matt Angle, director of the left-wing Lone Star Project. “By completely reversing its position on the discriminatory Texas voter ID law, the Trump/Sessions DOJ is now openly hostile to the notion of African Americans and Hispanics fairly participating in elections in Texas.”
The law allows individuals without a government-issued ID to cast ballots provided they sign an affidavit attesting to a reasonable impediment in obtaining an photo ID.
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