State legislatures eager to pass new voter laws

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The Trump Justice Department has withdrawn from the legal fight initiated by the Obama administration against Texas’s strict voter identification law that required voters to present a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID prior to casting a ballot.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ order signaled the end of the DOJ’s six-year legal battle against the Texas law, prompting other state legislatures to propose more stringent voter ID laws in their states.

According to Salon, Justice Department officials notified liberal activist groups that supported the lawsuit against Texas about the policy change. Those contacted included the Brennan Center for Justice, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the NAACP, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

In 2011 the majority-Republican legislature in Texas passed one of the toughest voter ID laws in America, requiring voters to show a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued photo ID before being allowed to cast a ballot. Obama’s Justice Department sued the state and blocked the law in 2013. A ruling in a 2016 federal appeals court case found that the law discriminated against minorities without IDs and that the legislation needed to be relaxed.

A week before Sessions’ order, Texas Republicans proposed their revised voter ID bill aimed at adhering to the court rulings.

At least 16 state legislatures are seeking to seize the opportunity to join the more than 30 states that require voter IDs at the polls, or to tighten existing requirements. In the last week alone, legislation has been proposed or passed in Iowa, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Nevada. Additional states working on proposals include North Dakota, Georgia, Virginia, and Maine.

H/T: The Daily Caller

 

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