U.S. will alter opposition to voter-ID law
AUSTIN, Texas — The administration of President Donald Trump plans to abandon a federal government stance in opposition to Texas’ toughest-in-the-nation voter-ID law, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said Monday.
It’s a break from the position taken by President Barack Obama’s administration, which argued that the 2011 voter-ID law was intended to disenfranchise poor and minority-group voters.
The law passed by Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature requires voters to show one of seven forms of state-approved photo identification — gun permits are acceptable, but college IDs are not. Voting-rights activists sued, and the case returns to court today in Corpus Christi, Texas, before U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos.
Justice Department spokesman Mark Abueg said the agency was preparing a brief detailing its rationale for the move. He said that although the Justice Department will no longer argue that the law was intended to discriminate against minority groups, the department doesn’t plan to withdraw from a part of the lawsuit that argues that the law had the effect of discriminating against them.
A federal appeals court last year ruled that the Texas law was discriminatory and ordered changes ahead of the November election. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined a Texas appeal that sought to restore the law, but Chief Justice John Roberts left the door open for another appeal at a later time.