Could the Voting Rights Act Be Struck Down?

Texas doesn't have an air-tight case when it comes to the stringent voter-ID law that's currently having its week in court. Even Fox commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano said he expects the state to lose. And according to Politico, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has promised to show not only that the voter-ID law will have a discriminatory effect but that such an effect was intentional.

Texas's case, meanwhile, rests on two different arguments: First, that the state needs a voter-ID law to combat voter fraud, and second, that the state should not have to obtain preclearance—as required by the Voting Rights Act—for changes in its election law in the first place.

After failing to do so in years past, Texas's GOP-dominated legislature passed a stringent voter-ID law in 2011. Under this law, only a few forms of identification are allowed: driver's licenses and state-issued identification cards, military IDs, citizenship certificates (with photos), passports, and handgun licenses. But the law didn't go into effect immediately. Because of its history of voter suppression, Texas is one of the states listed in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires that it receive "preclearance" before changing its election laws. That preclearance can come from either the DOJ or the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. 

The DOJ already shot down the Texas law in March. As I wrote at the time, it found that the law would create hurdles for some voters, particularly Hispanic and rural voters. Eighty-one of the state's 254 counties lack offices that issue driver's licenses. In rural areas, the gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanics who have necessary ID is "particularly stark." The DOJ also argued that the state's own data showed that Latinos were significantly less likely to have identification; all in all, the department estimated that at least 600,000 disproportionately minority voters could be disenfranchised. The Austin American-Statesman's Tim Eaton has an amazing piece highlighting the many people who could lose their right to vote if the law stands. 

After the DOJ's rejection, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott turned to the District Court of D.C., where a trial has just begun. Abbott conducted a huge voter-fraud investigation to fight the supposedly rampant problem. But as the Dallas Morning News reports,

A review of Abbott’s actions failed to confirm any such epidemic. Abbott found 26 cases to prosecute—all against Democrats, all but one against blacks or Hispanics. Of those, two-thirds were technical violations in which voters were eligible, votes were properly cast and no vote was changed. None of the cases would have been affected by the voter ID requirement.

Abbott's office says he has found other cases of a few people who are not minorities or Democrats and has pointed out that in the last ten years, the feds have convicted more than 100 people for election fraud. The numbers don't exactly blow you away.

But Abbott has bigger plans. The attorney general also argues that Section 5 goes beyond Congress's constitutional authority. If he doesn't succeed at the District Court—where his prospects don't look good—he's already said he will take the case to the Supreme Court. Abbott isn't the first person to challenge Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. In May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected a challenge from Alabama, and in 2009, the Supreme Court delayed ruling on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act when it upheld Indiana's voter-ID law (on which Texas's is based). But it's a conservative court to be sure, and no one should feel confident it will keep Section 5 in tact.

The stakes are high. The Voting Rights Act, one of Lyndon Johnson's central achievements, targeted Jim Crow laws throughout the South that created barriers for voters of color—literacy tests and poll taxes, for example. The law provides a slew of different provisions to ensure that eligible voters can vote. Section 2 forbids voting discrimination, and thanks to a 1982 amendment, any practice that results in discrimination is prohibited, regardless of intent. Section 5 of the law—which was just reauthorized in 2007 for the next 25 years, despite some Republican opposition—targets states and counties with a history of voter suppression, requiring them to "preclear" any changes to election law with the Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. 

Section 5 has become invaluable for those protecting voter rights: One suit to stop the controversial Florida voter purge hinges on preclearance requirements, and the DOJ has also blocked implementation of a South Carolina voter-ID law. In states not protected by Section 5, however, there's little the DOJ can do. In Pennsylvania, where there's no preclearance requirement, a voter-ID law is scheduled to go into effect despite the fact that as many as 9 percent of registered voters lack a photo ID. If Section 5 gets struck down, the DOJ will have little authority to stop states with histories of Jim Crow laws from erecting new barriers that make it harder for poor and minority voters to cast a ballot. It's a scary thing to imagine.

Comments

What Eric Holder has failed to mention to the judges is that minorities and low income people can be issued a FREE ID document. This is based on the Indiana law, that in essence states, if you can't produce an authorized ID on Election Day, you will given a provisional ballot and have until noon 10 business days hence, that following the election to produce you’re ID. The Texas ID law also states that if you meet certain income requirements, you can get a state issued ID card free of charge. Think about it, you have to show an ID to board a plane, send money, drive a car, and use your credit card or any number of reasons? This certainly denotes to me that since the Motor Voter bill in 1965, anybody can register to vote. Although it says under the penalty of perjury, my bet hundreds of thousands, maybe millions in cramped states as California and Nevada; illegal aliens are voting and will do so to maintain Obama in the White House.

1. Under the current law, YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE ANY FORM OF IDENTIFICATION IN MANY STATES.

2. When people register in person at a Department of Motor Vehicles or a Social Services agency, the government workers who handle their cases are not permitted to challenge their registrations. In other words there are no safeguards in the voting process and the Democrats prefer it this way, so the election cycle is abundantly open to fraud.

This could be catastrophic in close races, as Democrats led by the ideology of Liberals has compromised the whole organism. Using the disingenuous ‘politically correctness’ an absurd enigma of the advocate progressives. The new in-word ‘Voter Suppression’ is being used to challenge the fact that unknown numbers of foreign nationals are voting in contradiction to the law. Voter Suppression has been added to the Marxist Lexicon as the race card, skin color and other different labels, which offensively have the machinery to turn our politicians into spineless cowards.

To repeat that In June 2011 a Rasmussen survey those likely U.S. voters said that voters should be required to show photo identification before being allowed to cast their ballots. This included 85% of Republicans, 77% of voters not affiliated with either major party, or 63% of Democrats. Support for such a law was high across virtually all demographic groups. Just 18% of respondents opposed the requirement.

You only have to read about the highly controversial scenario in Florida. Of course as with the Sanctuary State of California, Nevada the Justice Department is trying to control Texas on this matter. Millions of illegal aliens have defied the law and settled illegally in every American state and I can guarantee to the gullible public, that they are cheating the welfare system and other public services. This is evident when they smuggle their children through borders or knowingly enter America by international flights, fully aware that the U.S. taxpayer will cover the costs of the baby delivery and its uncompensated care from cradle to grave. Prospective President Mitt Romney had best be aware, to be guided by the growing millions of CONSTITUTIONAL TEA PARTY politicians that foreigners will be slowly but surely be deported.

The TEA PARTY is the single real chance we have that will halt illegal immigration for good. But to do this we must replace as voters every politician, Governor, Police Chief or other elected official who supports the illegal alien invasion, whether they are a Democrat, Liberal or even a Republican with a TEA PARTY leader. Join your local Constitutional Tea Party, Join the national TEA PARTY and remove Obama and endeavor to demand that Mitt Romney people enact compulsory E-Verify ‘The Legal Workforce Act’ (H.R. 2885) to reject unauthorized workers, with citizens and lawful non-citizens and then additionally an amendment the Birthright Citizenship law (H.R.140) Which will recognize for citizenship, only the babies of parents where at least one being a citizen. All this is truly achievable if we vote for the right people?

JUST REMEMBER—THE TEA PARTY IS ‘YOU AND ME’? JUST AVERAGE AMERICANS WHO ARE SICK of “TAX & SPEND” DEMOCRATS WHO ARE GIVING YOUR MONEY AWAY TO THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER WORKED A DAY IN THEIR LIVES, THE ONES WHO SPEND THEIR MONEY ON DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, SIT WATCHING SOAP OPERAS OR BALL GAMES.

When we cannot even care for our own citizens and legal residents properly, why is the government giving public benefits to criminals? Why for instance is the now aptly named ‘Sanctuary State’ of California hemorrhaging billions of dollars to pay for the health care, education of everybody who squats there? Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Andronovich, who denies nothing of the billions of dollars, spent every year; an incredulous taxpayer burden placed upon the populace of the state. Of course there is no need to persuade prudent Americans, well aware that the Liberals intoxicated with power are firmly established in Sacramento have caused this financial crash. They passed an anti-Arizona law and by doing so have committed an even worse monetary demise that s impending.

Hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens will converge on California, Nevada, or any state near to Arizona? They believe they will be sheltered there from policing enforcement. That goes for any state that remains unconcerned about the impact of impoverished people violating not only Arizona, but Alabama, Georgia, Utah, South Carolina and whoever else passes tough state policing enforcement laws.

The only way to change the direction of this country is by voting into Congress as many TEA PARTY legislators as is possible. Both parties have been given every chance in the world and have failed miserably. The more TEA PARTY politicians that can unseat Democrats and Republicans, the more influence we have to change Washington. Look to your own representatives in Congress and see if they are being dictated to by the ‘K” Street special interests, the unions, churches of a whole conglomeration of radical organizations including the heartless businesses; not to forget farms and the rest of the agricultural industry. The latter agrarian entities refusing to pay a living wage, benefits and also exploiting the illegal workers in there employ. Is your local political personage against or for, illegal immigration? Did your Congressman vote an ordinance for a Sanctuary City or for Comprehensive Immigration Amnesty? Did they approve the DREAM ACT, which would also allow the sponsoring of family members and escalating ‘Chain Migration’? Are you aware that a recent study projects a wide ranging Amnesty would cost all taxpayers $2.6 Trillion dollars, when we already owe the foreign investors $16 Trillion dollars. Learn more details at NumbersUSA . Those Citizen voters who care for their families future should phone Congress at the central Washington, D.C., Switchboard at 202-224-3121 Review there standing on issues as illegal immigration, ObamaCare, drilling for oil, gas and coal and halting the relentless pressure of rules and regulations that is stifling job creation.

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