by Jeremy Leaming
Confronting Texas’ stringent voter ID law, DOJ Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said today in slowing implementation of the law that it would disproportionately hinder Latino voters.
Reporting for TPM, Ryan J. Reilly cites Perez’s letter to state officials, saying the assistant AG had concluded, in part, that Texas officials failed to provide any “explanation” for the voter ID’s disparate impact on Latino voters.
Texas is one of several states, pursuant to the Voting Rights Act, that must obtain “preclearance” from the DOJ before implementing new voter election laws. Originally section 5 of the VRA covered African Americans in Southern. Later, that VRA provision was expanded to also cover states with histories of making it difficult, if not impossible, for Latinos and other minorities to vote.
The DOJ has also taken action against other restrictive state voter identification laws, such as the one in South Carolina. Last fall during a Senate Judiciary Committee on the numerous state laws to hamper voting Attorney General Eric Holder said “techniques to discourage people from coming to the polls – that’s inconsistent with what we say we are as a nation.”
Slate's Dahlia Lithwick and Virginia law school professor Risa L. Goluboff blasted the slew of restrictive voter ID laws, writing that they represented "ugly parallels between Jim Crow and modern vote-suppression laws."