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Ear to the Ground

Eric Holder Moves to Save the Voting Rights Act in Texas

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Posted on Jul 25, 2013
ishabh Mishra (possible248) (CC BY 2.0)

The U.S. attorney general said Thursday that the Justice Department would respond to the Supreme Court ruling against the Voting Rights Act by seeking to require states to obtain federal approval before putting political redistricting changes in place.

At the time of the announcement, Eric Holder addressed probable changes in the state of Texas.

The attorney general called the Voting Rights Act “the cornerstone of modern civil rights law,” saying that “we cannot allow the slow unraveling of the progress that so many, throughout history, have sacrificed so much to achieve.”

On a 5-4 vote last month, the Supreme Court threw out a powerful part of the law that helped black Americans on their way to acquiring equal rights and political power.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

The move in Texas is the Justice Department’s first action to further safeguard voting rights following the Supreme Court decision on June 25, said Holder, “but it will not be our last”.

“Even as Congress considers updates to the Voting Rights Act in light of the court’s ruling, we plan, in the meantime, to fully utilize the law’s remaining sections to ensure that the voting rights of all American citizens are protected,” Holder said.

The requirement to obtain advance approval from either the department or a federal court before changing voting laws is available under the Voting Rights Act when intentional discrimination against voters is found.

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