The Department of Justice plans to ask a federal judge to require Texas to receive federal approval before changing its voting laws, Attorney General Eric Holder told the National Urban League this morning in Philadelphia.
“This is the department’s first action to protect voting rights following the Shelby County decision, but it will not be our last,” 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 ensure that the voting rights of all American citizens are protected.”
The Attorney General said the department will ask a federal court in San Antonio to subject the Lone Star State to a preclearance regime similar to the one required by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
He also said he has directed the Civil Rights Division to shift its resources to the enforcement of a number of federal voting laws not impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision last month striking down Section 4 of the civil rights legislation.
Holder said the Justice Department will continue monitoring jurisdictions around the country for changes, which threaten these voting rights and will take “appropriately aggressive action against any jurisdiction that attempts to hinder free and fair access to the franchise.”