Good news hit the wires this afternoon – Attorney General Greg Abbott has fired a shot at the Voting Rights Act, directly challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 in his latest complaint, calling it an infringement on Article IV of the US Constitution and the Tenth Amendment.
This puts Texas’ voter identification law in the company of similar laws from other states should the Supreme Court bring it up again. The constitutionality of Section 5 is something the Court has skirted in other recent cases, but it is becoming quite clear that it will have to be dealt with. We’re conforming to an outdated and unnecessarily punishing law, and AG Abbott is right to keep fighting.
The Supreme Court has upheld voter identification laws in several states, including Kansas, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Indiana. The difference with Texas, as with South Carolina, seems to be an intense disagreement with those states’ leaders and policies – it isn’t the only battleground on which the administration has chosen to fight, either, as evidenced by the fight over the women’s health program and of course redistricting.
All of this comes in the wake of the Department of Justice denying Texas preclearance to implement our new voter identification laws, and on the same day that the United Nations Human Rights Council announced that it would be reviewing American voter i.d. laws. Yes, that’s the same Human Rights Council on which serve such shining protectors of human rights and universal suffrage as China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia.