Target: U.S. Department of Justice
Goal: Applaud the U.S. Justice Department for suing Texas over Voter ID law that targets low-income minority groups
The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that it would sue Texas to halt the restrictive voter ID law recently signed into law in Texas. The Texas Legislature revived the law in June 2013 after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a significant section of the Voting Rights Act, which enabled the federal government to decide if voting procedural changes in any state were discriminatory. Once Texas announced only hours after the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act that it would enact the restrictive law, several judges and the Department of Justice concurred that the law unfairly targeted low-income Latinos and African Americans who did not have the required ID to vote.
The Supreme Court invalidated the Voting Rights Act’s section that designated which districts had a history of discrimination and thus required them to clear changes to election laws with the federal government. Nonetheless, the Justice Department is still invoking the sections of the law that still remain. The Justice Department’s new lawsuit argues that the Texas voter ID law violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s voting protections as well as Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which outlaws any election laws that discriminate against people based on their race. The Justice Department will thus have to prove that the law disproportionately disenfranchises minorities and that Texas lawmakers intended to do so with the legislation. If the lawsuit succeeds, it will force Texas to nullify its voter ID law and conform with federal supervision.
Texas’ voter ID law is one of the most stringent in the nation. Several studies have concluded that approximately 10 percent of registered voters in the 27 counties in Texas may not be able to vote because of the new ID requirement. While the Justice Department tries to rectify Texas’ infringement on the right to vote for Texan citizens, Texas aims to destroy the remainder of the Voting Rights Act. The legislature posits that forcing Texas election laws to be supervised by federal authorities is unconstitutional. Furthermore, the state is defending itself by arguing that the law did not specifically intend to disenfranchise minorities, but rather is simply aimed at curbing the voting power of Democrats. Such a defense in itself is despicable and contradicts how a democracy should function. All citizens, regardless of their race and political affiliation, have the right to vote in state and federal elections. Please sign this petition to show support for the Department of Justice in its attempt to get rid of one of the strictest voting laws in U.S. history.
Dear U.S. Department of Justice,
We commend you for your decision to sue Texas over its stringent and unconstitutional Voter ID law under the premise that it violates the parts of the Voting Rights Act that still stand. Texas revived the law after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to gut a key part of the Voting Rights Act in June 2013. Multiple studies have concluded that at least ten percent of registered voters in Texas’ 27 counties would not be able to vote because they do not have the proper form if ID.
While your department seeks to strike down this heinous attack on voting rights, Texas continues to try to destroy the parts of the Voting Rights Act that still stand. The state argues that any effort to force Texas election laws to undergo federal supervision is unconstitutional. Furthermore, the state claims that the law does not aim to disenfranchise minorities specifically, but rather seeks to take away voting power from Democrats. Such an argument is a affront to democracy, and we applaud your efforts to ensure that democracy remains intact throughout the United States.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Local 234 via Flickr