Texas Gov. Rick Perry expressed outrage at the Department of Justice on Thursday, after the attorney general announced plans to try to persuade a federal court to subject his state to election-law scrutiny in order to protect minority voters, MSNBC reports.
Thursday morning, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department would try to persuade a federal court to subject the entire state of Texas to “preclearance,” meaning that Texas would have to submit its election law changes to the Justice Department for advance approval to ensure the state is not discriminating against voters. Texas had been subject to preclearance until recently, when the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which determined which states and jurisdictions with histories of discrimination were subject to the preclearance requirement.
Under a little used provision of the Voting Rights Act, however, jurisdictions with recent histories of deliberate voting discrimination can still be made subject to preclearance. Republicans in Texas deliberately attempted to weaken Latino voting power during the last redistricting process.
Perry issued a public statement accusing the Obama administration of “demonstrating utter contempt for our country’s system of checks and balances, not to mention the U.S. Constitution,” saying that “This end-run around the Supreme Court undermines the will of the people of Texas, and casts unfair aspersions on our state’s common-sense efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections process.”
Unfortunately for Perry, his objections don’t make much sense, common or otherwise. For one thing, the Supreme Court did not strike down Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act, which is the provision of the law Holder says they intend to use–so the move is neither an “end-run” around the high court’s ruling nor an affront to checks and balances. It’s using the law for its intended purpose.
Read more at MSNBC.