Holder Determined to Challenge Voter-Suppression Laws

The Justice Department, NAACP Legal Defense Fund and North Carolina NAACP continue to challenge voter-suppression laws ahead of the 2014 midterms.

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“Sixty-two percent of the people who lack the government-issued photo ID required by the state of North Carolina are women,” Ifill said, “so we’ve started people talking about your grandmother who doesn’t drive anymore and hasn’t driven in years and doesn’t have a license.”

Though the NAACP Legal Defense Fund is not a party bringing suit in the North Carolina case, as it is in states including Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama, Ifill said the issues are similar. “North Carolina was out there with early voting, same-day registration,” she said. “This wasn’t just about race; this was for everybody, things that a vibrant democracy would have. And what we’re seeing and what we have to fight is the backlash to the progress … I’m afraid that is the way it goes.”

In our earlier conversation, Holder also looked to history. He recalled that having been born in 1951, he witnessed the passage of the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act. He said he remembered how Vivian Malone, the women who would become his sister-in-law, integrated the University of Alabama as George Wallace symbolically stood in the school house door.

“The notion that here we are 50 years later, still dealing with these kinds of issues, is something that for me is extremely troubling,” Holder said. “I have the ability now as attorney general to oppose these actions, and wherever I can, wherever the possibility exists, that’s what we intend to do.”

Mary C. Curtisan award-winning Charlotte, N.C.-based journalist, is a contributor to the Washington Post's "She the People" blog and WCCB News Charlotte. She has worked at the New York Times, the Charlotte Observer and as national correspondent for Politics Daily. Follow her on Twitter.

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