I would say this current administration is looking funny in the light, but truth be told, it was looking funny in the dark to begin with. And now, on Monday, in a huge reversal, the Justice Department under the Trump administration has decided to drop the department’s position that Republican state lawmakers pushed Texas’ strict voter-ID law to make it harder for people of color to vote.
As Talking Points Memo notes, for the past six years, the DOJ has sided with citizens and civil rights groups fighting against the stringent voter-ID law, which required voters to show one of seven approved forms of identification in order to cast their ballot.
The law, which was enacted in 2011, has been at the center of court battles ever since, with civil rights groups arguing that the policy discriminates against low-income and minority voters. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals further blocked the state from fully enforcing the law for the 2016 presidential election, a decision that cleared the way for more than 16,000 Texans to vote.
However, on Monday, that all changed. And the change—occurring under the leadership of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a staunch supporter of voter-ID laws and other such restrictions—is not going unnoticed.
“This signals to voters that they will not be protected under this administration,” Danielle Lang, the deputy director of voting rights at the Campaign Legal Center said, according to Talking Points Memo. The center is challenging the current law in court.
“It’s a complete 360,” she added, according to ABC News. “We can’t make heads or tails of any factual reason for the change. There has been no new evidence that’s come to light.”