*This piece originally appeared on the Campaign Legal Center's blog.
by Anna Bodi, Partner Legal Fellow, Campaign Legal Center
Texas has the nation’s strictest photo voter ID law in the nation, SB 14, which was found by three federal courts to disenfranchise more than half a million voters.
The Campaign Legal Center has litigated the case challenging that law for several years now, on behalf of Texas voters and the League of United Latin American Citizens. The Department of Justice, throughout this process, previously sided with the plaintiffs’ claims that the law has a discriminatory purpose and discriminatory effects.
But that is no longer the case. The DOJ notified CLC yesterday that after many years of vigorously challenging Texas’s voter ID law, it was dropping its claim that the law was enacted with the intent to discriminate.
The move comes less than a week after the DOJ, in a joint motion with the state of Texas, unsuccessfully pushed to delay consideration of SB 14’s discriminatory purpose, relying on the mere introduction of a new bill, SB 5, in the Texas State Legislature to amend the Texas voter ID bill.
The DOJ’s sudden reversal in position invites the question: What has changed?