Justice Department To Texas: Run Voting Changes By Us

It wants a court to require Texas to get federal permission for any changes to voting over the next decade because of concerns over discrimination.

1. Attorney General Eric Holder’s office will ask a court to force Texas to get federal permission for voting changes in the next 10 years after the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act. He acknowledges this is just the beginning.

Matt Rourke / AP

The move is seen as an opening salvo in a new administration strategy to try to reimpose “preclearance” requirements in parts of the country that have a history of discriminating against minority voters, The New York Times reports.

2. According to The New York Times:

“This is the department’s first action to protect voting rights following the Shelby County decision, but it will not be our last,” Mr. Holder said. “Even as Congress considers updates to the Voting Rights Act in light of the court’s ruling, we plan, in the meantime, to fully utilize the law’s remaining sections to subject states to preclearance as necessary. My colleagues and I are determined to use every tool at our disposal to stand against such discrimination wherever it is found.”

3. The government’s request is expected to be made in a lawsuit Latino state lawmakers filed challenging Texas’s redistricting plan based on the 2010 census.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

4. Holder said evidence that the Texas Legislature had intentionally discriminated against Latinos when redrawing district lines was sufficient to reimpose safeguards for a decade.

John Moore / Getty Images

He noted that the court — in blocking the map — had said the parties “provided more evidence of discriminatory intent than we have space, or need, to address here,” the NYT reports.

5. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott already announced plans to fight the decision:

Greg Abbott


I’ll fight #Obama’s effort to control our elections & I’ll fight against cheating at ballot box. http://t.co/SsGS3hCc6e #tcot #txgop

#SCOTUS already approved #VoterID; now #Obama trying to deny it in #Texas http://t.co/ecWOovGHbb #txlege #tcot #txgop

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX)

Greg Abbott


#SCOTUS already approved #VoterID; now #Obama trying to deny it in #Texas http://t.co/ecWOovGHbb #txlege #tcot #txgop

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Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Adrian Carrasquillo at adrian.carrasquillo@buzzfeed.com.
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