After the Shelby v Holder Decision - States Change Voting Laws -- Texas 1
In Philadelphia, at the annual conference of the National Urban League, Attorney General Eric Holder offered the following statement: "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 preclearance process whenever it changes its voting laws and practices,"
Holder promised to continue law suits, but Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott stated after the Supreme Court decision was handed down "With today's decision, the State's voter ID law will take effect immediately… Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government."
A spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), during a call with the press admitted that Texas now has "a very strong argument" based on the decision and could now implement laws that previously were banned under preclearance.
The Texas voter id law that has been labeled one of the most stringent edicts in the Country would go into effect almost immediately. Driver license agencies would now start dispensing photo IDs to residents that do not already have them. The certificates are valid for six years, without charge, under the state law that was first written in 2011. In order for an applicant to meet the requirements they would need to show a document proving them to be a resident of the State of Texas as well as a document proving them a citizen of the United States.
The documents that would now be accepted for voting are a valid Texas Driver's license, an Election identification certificate, a personal ID card, or a valid license to carry a concealed handgun. All the aforementioned documents issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Other forms of identification that will now be accepted are a United States military ID card, United States citizenship certificate, and United States passport. All federal documents mentioned must also have a photo of the document's holder properly affixed that matches the physical appearance of the applicant. With the exclusion of the United States certificate of citizenship, all mentioned identification would have to be current or its expiration date not to be in excess of sixty days prior to being offered at a polling office.
The legal ping pong match began in 2012 when Attorney General Holder denounced the Texas law as a "poll tax," and through The Justice Department filed suit against Texas's ID law, under the Voting Rights Act arguing that the law violated the VRA which at that time was the standard for barring intentional racial discrimination in elections through Section 5 preclearance. He also called the Voting Rights Act "the cornerstone of modern civil rights law" continuing by saying that "we cannot allow the slow unraveling of the progress that so many, throughout history, have sacrificed so much to achieve."
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