law & order & trump
President Trump's Department of Justice is reversing the government's opposition to a Texas voter ID law that critics claim intentionally discriminates against minorities, Dallas News reports.
The 2011 law requires voters to present one of seven government-issued identifications in order to fill out a ballot, although Hispanic and black voters are disproportionately less likely to have one of the approved IDs. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that the law was discriminatory but could not agree on whether it was intentionally discriminatory. Both sides are set to argue the question of discriminatory intent on the behalf of the lawmakers before a U.S. District Judge on Tuesday.
"The change in the administration is the only explanation for this change [in position], and it's outrageous," said Danielle Lang, who serves as the deputy director of voting rights at the Campaign Legal Center. "For the Department of Justice to change its position after six years, when none of the facts have changed, is appalling."
The law's supporters, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), say the ID requirement is necessary to prevent voter fraud. President Trump has made his concern about voter fraud a central topic of his administration, despite a complete lack of evidence that the crime is widespread.
Rep. Marc Veasey, a Democrat representing Fort Worth, described the law as "the clearest manifestation of modern-day voter suppression tactics." Private plaintiffs will continue to fight against the law.