In an effort to move to trial more quickly, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has quietly dropped his opposition to the Department of Justice’s request to take depositions from state lawmakers in the voter identification case. In March, Abbott asked a federal court in Washington to shield 12 state lawmakers from giving depositions in the state’s voter identification case against the Justice Department. Citing legislative privilege, Abbott’s office said that the department’s requests to depose lawmakers and subpoena records amounted to “an unwarranted federal intrusion into the operations of the Texas Legislature.” But now, Abbott has decided to stop trying to prevent the depositions, said Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for Abbott. “In order to move the case forward without delay, the State agreed to allow depositions to proceed,” Strickland said in a statement.
The Justice Department has asked for depositions from the author of the voter ID measure, Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay; its House sponsor, Rep. Patricia Harless, R-Spring; various legislative staffers; and other lawmakers. Fraser’s and Harless’ offices had no comment, and a Justice Department spokeswoman didn’t respond to questions.
Texas’ highly charged voter ID law, which passed along party lines last year, would require a voter to present a valid form of government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot. The law was not able to take immediate effect because Texas and several other states and municipalities with histories of discrimination must have all changes to election law “pre-cleared” by a federal court or the Justice Department before they can be enacted.
Full Article: Abbott drops opposition to depositions in voter ID case.