Eric Holder Suing Texas Over Its Voter ID Law

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 22 2013 1:45 PM

Eric Holder: We Won't Allow "Open Season" on Voter ID Laws

176418206
Attorney General Eric Holder takes disappointing Supreme Court cases in stride.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Eric Holder just won't leave the Lone Star State alone.

The attorney general will sue Texas over its voter ID law, the Justice Department announced Thursday. "Today's action marks another step forward in the Justice Department's continuing effort to protect the voting rights of all eligible Americans," Holder said in a statement. But hang on, wasn't there a Supreme Court case about this?

No matter, Holder says. From his statement: "We will not allow the Supreme Court's recent decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights." He must be thinking back to how in D.C., it became open season on humans after the high court struck down the city's handgun ban.

Advertisement

The forthcoming suit is only the "latest action" from the DOJ "to protect voting rights," Holder says. What were the previous actions? Well, in case you missed it, Holder made Texas the first target in his voting-rights counterattack after he lost the Shelby case. One month after the SCOTUS decision, Holder asked federal judges in San Antonio to apply the Voting Rights Act's "pre-clearance" review process to voting-law changes made in the state—the very pre-clearance provision Texas was freed from when the high court struck down Section 5 of the VRA. Turns out pre-clearance can still be required under Section 3, so long as there's "intentional voting discrimination" going on, which is exactly what Holder is alleging.

There's little doubt that the Texas law encourages voter discrimination, though whether the state aims to discriminate against fraudsters or, well, Democrats is up for the judges to decide. See you next summer for another Supreme Court decision on pre-clearance!

Ryan Vogt is a Slate copy editor.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 21 2014 9:18 AM Oh, Boy Prudie counsels a letter writer whose sister dresses her 4-year-old son in pink tutus.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 10:10 AM Where Do I Start With Sleater-Kinney?
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 9:39 AM The International-Student Revolving Door Foreign students shouldn’t have to prove they’ll go home after graduating to get a visa.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.