Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday that the Justice Department will continue its efforts to protect voting rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision which gutted the Voting Rights Act earlier this summer. During remarks to the Congressional Black Caucus, Holder explained that the lawsuits filed to stop Texas’s discriminatory redistricting and voter ID laws are “just the beginning.” “Thanks to the hard work of our Civil Rights Division, we are continuing to refine and re-focus current enforcement efforts across the country,” he said. “And while the suits we’ve filed in Texas mark the first voting rights enforcement actions the Justice Department has taken since the Supreme Court ruling, they will not be the last.”
So far, the Justice Department has filed lawsuits to block redistricting and voter ID laws in Texas, along with pushing to see the state returned to preclearance under a different provision of the Voting Rights Act that remains intact after the Supreme Court ruling.
Earlier this week, the NAACP and Mexican American Legislative Caucus filed a lawsuit joining the DOJ in its attempt to block the voter ID law.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called the Justice Department’s efforts a “scheme” to win Texas for Democrats. The state has also argued that its own voting actions were designed to suppress Democratic votes, rather than minority votes, a claim designed to prove that the state was not engaging in the intentional racial discrimination that could require preclearance.