On Monday, the Department of Justice announced that it will no longer contest a controversial voter ID law in Texas, as reported by the Texas Tribune. Those who oppose the law believe that it discriminates against minority voters with strict identification provisions. The decision from the DOJ arrives under the direction of the also controversial Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
During his tenure, President Obama had worked with the Justice Department to investigate whether the law was discriminatory against minority voters. The law was relaxed during the 2016 election, but now, the law will be back in full force. The announcement comes at a surprising time, for a federal judge was going to hear arguments against the law on Tuesday. Those proceedings are no longer scheduled, for Sessions’ attorneys have communicated that the claim has been dropped. Campaign Legal Center’s Deputy Director of Voting Rights Danielle Lang told Talking Points memo that her group had worked tirelessly looking into the law, all for nothing:
“This signals to voters that they will not be protected under this administration. We have already had a nine-day trial and presented thousands of pages of documents demonstrating that the picking and choosing of what IDs count was entirely discriminatory and would fall more harshly on minority voters. So for the [Justice Department] to come in and drop those claims just because of a change of administration is outrageous.”
The Hill notes that Sessions is a proponent of voter ID laws, and this may be a sign of things to come for Donald Trump’s administration.