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Texas Voting Law Changes Under Scrutiny; Holder Says Need Approval

Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 06:20 PM

By Ken Mandel

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is taking on Texas voter laws, saying that the Department of Justice plans to ask a federal court to re-establish its jurisdiction over state election laws.

Speaking at the National Urban League's annual conference in Philadelphia, Holder's remarks come as part of a new Obama administration goal to challenge election laws that it says discriminate by race.

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"Based on the evidence of intentional racial discrimination that was presented last year in the redistricting case, Texas v. Holder ... we believe that the State of Texas should be required to go through a pre-clearance process whenever it changes its voting laws and practices," Holder told the audience, according to United Press International.

Numerous challenges have been made to the Voting Rights Act in the past two years, which prompted the Supreme Court last month to eliminate parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

"Despite the court's decision, I believe we must regard this setback not as a defeat but as a historic opportunity for Congress to restore, and even to strengthen, modern voting protections," Holder said.

He followed that with the announcement that the Justice Department will ask a Texas federal court to force the state to obtain "pre-approval" from either the DOJ or a federal court before "implementing future voting changes," CNN said.

Holder's comments represent the Justice Department's first response to The Lone Star State's redistricting law that earned a Holder lawsuit in 2012, accusing the state of "history of pervasive voting-related discrimination against racial minorities that the Supreme Court itself has recognized."

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Related stories:

Eric Holder Blasts 'Stand-Your-Ground' Laws to NAACP

Holder Signals New Push to Gain Control Over State, Local Voting Laws

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