The dust still hadn't settled on the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a key part of the Voting Rights Act when Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott dispatched a press release announcing that the state's voter ID law, which the courts had up put on hold, would "take effect immediately." It was almost uncanny how quickly he got the news out there, almost like he had it pre-typed and ready to go.
The same could be said of the lawsuit U.S. Representative Marc Veasey and seven others filed in federal court today challenging Abbott's decision.
Michael Li summarizes on his Texas Redistricting & Election Law blog.
The new suit alleges, though, that even if section 5 no longer bars enforcement of the law, the law's discriminatory effect on minority voters violates section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and that the Texas Legislature enacted the law with a discriminatory purpose in violation of the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution.
The suit also makes a claim that the law violates the Constitution's 1st amendment by inhibiting free speech and meaningful political association.
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In other words, the Supreme Court's decision doesn't mean the voter ID law's not still racist.
Veasey isn't bringing the suit as a voter. Rather, he argues that the law will cause him to "suffer additional costs in running his re-election campaign" and "make it more difficult for him to persuade and turn out voters to support his candidacy." But some of his co-plaintiffs are, like Floyd James Carrier of Jefferson County, a retired, disabled black soldier with no photo ID.
In case you thought the legal battles were over.