Eric Holder to Challenge States' Voting-Rights Laws

The Justice Department seeks to blunt the impact of the Supreme Court's ruling that struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. 

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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (Tim Boyles/Getty Images)

The Washington Post is reporting that in an attempt to blunt the impact of a Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department is preparing to take legal action in a series of cases across the nation.

The decision to challenge state officials marks an aggressive effort to continue policing voting rights issues and follows a ruling by the court last month that invalidated a critical part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Justices threw out Section 5 of the landmark act, which protects minority voters by requiring certain states with a history of discrimination to be granted Justice Department or court approval before making voting law changes.

In the coming weeks, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is expected to announce that the Justice Department is using other sections of the Voting Rights Act to bring lawsuits or take other legal action to prevent states from implementing certain laws, including requirements to present certain kinds of identification in order to vote. The department is also expected to try and force certain states to get approval, or "pre-clearance," before they can change their election laws.

"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 subject states to pre-clearance as necessary," Holder planned to say in a speech Thursday morning in Philadelphia, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. "My colleagues and I are determined to use every tool at our disposal to stand against such discrimination wherever it is found."

Read more at the Washington Post.

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