After the Texas Legislature passed SB 14 into law during the 82nd Legislative Session, the Federal Government has once again intervened in our state’s affairs.
The U.S. Department of Justice rejected Texas’ Voter ID law, alleging that the state failed to prove that the measure would not have a discriminatory effect on minority voters.
In an alarming pattern, the Obama Administration, the Justice Department, and Attorney General Holder continue to overstep their authority and trample on states’ rights. As Congressman Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) says, “This is an abuse of executive authority and an affront to the citizens of Texas. It’s time for the Obama administration to learn not to mess with Texas.”
According to the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
In a press release, Governor Rick Perry said, “The DOJ has no valid reason for rejecting this important law, which requires nothing more extensive than the type of photo identification necessary to receive a library card or board an airplane. Their denial is yet another example of the Obama Administration’s continuing and pervasive federal overreach.”
Since 2002 the Texas Attorney General’s office has convicted 50 people of voter fraud. A Lighthouse Opinion Polling and Research poll showed that 86% of Texans support a photo ID requirement in order to vote. The poll included both Republicans and Democrats. Says State Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), “I believe that a photo identification law simply puts into practice the intent of the current law – that the person who shows up at the polls is who he or she claims to be.”
Ironically, a person is required to show a photo ID before he/she can enter Attorney General Eric Holder’s office in the U.S. Department of Justice.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has sued the Justice Department and Eric Holder over their refusal to uphold Texas’ Voter ID law. On the Attorney General’s web site he writes, “The U.S. Supreme Court has already held that Voter ID requirements are constitutional and nondiscriminatory, and several other states – including Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Wisconsin – are allowed to require photo identification to vote. Texas should not be treated differently and must have the same authority as other states to protect the integrity of our elections.”
The fight over Voter ID is playing out in other states, with a Wisconsin judge recently blocking state officials from requiring voters to present photo ID, two weeks ahead of the state’s April 3 primary. The Wisconsin law, which was championed by Governor Scott Walker, was passed last year by a Republican-controlled legislature.
Parties to the legal challenge of the Texas Voter ID law have agreed to a July 30 trial date, which would last between five and eight days. Attorney General Abbott has requested a proposed order to ensure that Texas Voter ID law will be decided in time for the November election.