Attorney General Eric Holder just issued this statement on a federal court’s decision to block Texas voter ID law:
“The court’s decision today and the decision earlier this week on the Texas redistricting plans not only reaffirm – but help protect – the vital role the Voting Rights Act plays in our society to ensure that every American has the right to vote and to have that vote counted.
“The Department of Justice opposed preclearance of the Texas voter ID law because of the harm it would cause minority voters across the state of Texas. Under the proposed law, many of those without the required voter identification would be forced to travel great distances to get one – and some would have to pay for the documents they might need to do so. The legislature rejected reasonable efforts to mitigate these burdens. We are pleased with the court’s decision to deny preclearance because of these racially discriminatory effects.
“The Justice Department’s efforts to uphold and enforce voting rights will remain aggressive and even-handed. When a jurisdiction meets its burden of proving that a proposed voting change would not have a racially discriminatory purpose or effect, the Department will not oppose that change — when a jurisdiction fails to meet that burden, we will object.”