Texas Serves Up Voting Rights Challenge To SCOTUS

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) may have just offered up exactly what Chief Justice John Roberts and the conservative wing of the Supreme Court has been asking for: another reason to strike Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Abbott amended the state’s lawsuit against the federal government over its rejection of their new voter ID law to include a direct challenge to the constitutionality of the preclearance requirement of the VRA. That section forces states with a history of racial discrimination and minority disenfranchisement to have their election laws precleared by either the federal government or in a D.C. court.

Texas argues that Section 5 exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress and violates the Tenth Amendment. It’s a popular argument of foes of preclearance requirements, and if the Roberts Court disagrees, could form the basis of undoing significant federal civil rights protections.

The question now is will the Roberts Court hear the challenge and issue a ruling before the November election? There is a slight possibility that happens. The Court’s current term will adjourn in June, so it is unlikely it gets heard before then. But if Texas argues its voter ID law for the November election, and it likely will, the Court could decide to hear the case as early as September and before the normal October start of the new Court term says law professor Rick Hansen.

Conservatives have been looking for a way to attack federal voting rights protections for decades now and unfortunately seem to have the momentum right now. Expect the Supreme Court to hear this case and, depending on how the issue gets framed, we could see a 5-4 decision unraveling the Voting Rights Act.

Related Stories:

DOJ Rejects Texas Voter ID Bill

Florida Argues Voting Rights Act Unconstitutional

Virginia Wants Out Of Voting Rights Act

Photo from cjc4454 via flickr.


Debra Griffin
Missy G5 years ago


Scott W.
Scott Williams5 years ago

Thank you LD. I hear you. I was listening to an NPR show last night about the psychopath test and I was thinking that conservatives would probably score higher than progressives on it. This is another situation that bolsters my opinion on that. Sad time for America. I am wondering if a majority of our citizens have the [small "d"] democratic gumption to overcome these efforts to drag us back to more aristocratic times. One can hope and one can work at it. Thanks again, Scott

Scott W.
Scott Williams5 years ago

Clearly voter ID is a form of poll tax. These IDs cost money and I can't believe that no one has challenged them on this basis. Let the states which enact ID requirements pay for each and every voter to get one and insure that it is delivered to each voter. That would slow them down. It would also give lawmakers with some brains the opportunity to not fund it thereby invalidating the requirement by virtue of the states' inability to perfect providing the ID. Just a thought.

LD B5 years ago

Add PA to the list of States where paleoconservatards just enacted a Voter ID Law. No doubt the Koch Bros. are so very proud of their puppets in Harrisburg.

Thelma R.
Thelma R.5 years ago

When Republicans know that the American people reject their archaic ideas, reject their inhumane policies, and utterly reject their attempts to keep pushing the minorities, the elderly, the poor, the students, and definitely the women, further and further into poverty and disenfranchisement, REPUBLICANS RESORT TO DIRTY TRICKS AGAIN AND AGAIN. This time around they've decided in GOP-controlled state after state, that NOT ALL AMERICANS SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE. How patriotic of them, right?!! Shame on these hypocrites and hucksters. They'd be the first to be kicking and screaming loudly if it were the Democratic Party passing all these voter suppression laws against them.

Carole A Kurzawa
Carole Kurzawa6 years ago

This is another one of Perry's pet projects that he wouldn't accept not getting thru the legislature. He got them to push thru this and the Sonogram Bill the last time that met' There were very few incidents of voter fraud here in Texas but there are a lot of people who don't drive. I think the people here in Texas are getting tired of being the laughing stock of the country.

Charles P.
Charles P6 years ago

Voter suppression is all the rage these days. The repugnants better watch it if it causes rage.

James Maynard
James Maynard6 years ago

Once again, my state is a huge embarrassment.

Please believe we don't all think like the morons
who passed their idiotic law.

J.L. A.
JL A6 years ago


Amie K.
Amie K6 years ago

Another idealogical decision we can expect to be coming soon from the Roberts SCOTUS? Yeah consider me shocked. :-/