U.S. Attorney General Takes On Texas Over Voting Rights | KERA News

U.S. Attorney General Takes On Texas Over Voting Rights

Jul 25, 2013

The U.S. Attorney General took aim at the Lone Star State yesterday, and his Texas counterpart reacted. Eric Holder and Greg Abbott strongly disagree over the Voting Rights Act.


In Philadelphia Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told members of the National  Urban League he would use a different part of the federal Voting Rights Act to end what he said was ongoing voter discrimination in Texas.

“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.”

Lower courts have found repeated instances of discrimination, targeting mainly Hispanics, in parts of the state. But last month, the U.S. Supreme Court voided the pre-clearance provision of the Voting Rights Act. It said Congress could revive the measure, if there was a political will. Texas Republicans, including Governor Rick Perry,  say Holder is trying an end run around the Supreme Court. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who’s running to replace Perry,  says there’s already a case in Texas courts to right any voting wrongs. He calls Holder’s move a partisan play.

“I believe the Obama administration is joining with the Democrat Party in the state of Texas in a lawsuit aimed at the 2014 elections rather than trying to protect the rights of minorities.” Abbott continued “They seem to be using the legal system as a sword to wage political attacks rather than some kind of shield to protect against wrongdoing.”

Abbott accuses Holder and the Obama administration of imposing their version of voter discrimination, but against Hispanic Republicans.