Online Broadband Guide
Online Broadband Guide


Feds reportedly drop opposition to Texas voter ID law

A spokesman with the Department of Justice says it no longer plans to challenge its long-held position that Texas lawmakers purposefully discriminated against minority voters by passing the 2011 law. "We will be arguing the same claim, and we think it's really disappointing that the Department of Justice is backing away from its enforcement of voting rights".

"None of the facts have changed, just the administration", Danielle Lang, a lawyer with one of several groups challenging the voter ID law, told the Texas Tribune.

"At a minimum, the State Defendants and the United States anticipate that the parties would file a new round of briefing and present a new round of oral argument on the discriminatory goal claim if Texas enacts new voter ID legislation", the Texas and DOJ attorneys wrote in a joint motion.

"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", Lang said. The Brennan Center for Justice challenged the law on behalf of the Texas NAACP and the state House's Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

A hearing on whether the law was passed with discriminatory intent is scheduled for Tuesday. But on Monday, lawyers for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told parties that they were dropping a claim that Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against Latino and African-American 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. The Fifth Circuit also asked Ramos to create a temporary solution to the law's discriminatory effect, to be in place by the November election. Those who oppose the law believe that it discriminates against minority voters with strict identification provisions. The division oversees the DOJ's implementation of federal law on voting, and Wheeler's appointment was another sign of the Trump administration's intention to switch sides. If the voting rights plaintiffs can uphold Judge Ramos' ruling - that Texas lawmakers intentionally passed a discriminatory bill - Texas would again be subject to federal pre-clearance for voting or elections changes in the future.

"If new Texas state voter identification legislation is enacted into law, it will significantly affect the remainder of this litigation", the DOJ and Texas jointly argued. In August, when the state originally sought to postpone arguments regarding intent until the legislature had time to come up with a solution, Lang said the DOJ fought back, arguing it was in the interest of justice to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos struck down the law in 2014, ruling that it violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by imposing unconstitutional impediments on the right to vote. "But this type of discrimination is unacceptable in our democracy, and the other voting-rights advocates on the case will continue to press the issue in court".

follow

editors' picks

February 27, 2017
Jose Mourinho concedes Manchester United were fortunate to beat Southampton
Mourinho complained bitterly about the Europa League Round of 16 draw which paired Manchester United with Russian team Rostov. For United this is Ibrahimovic, with Mourinho saying any serious layoff for the 24-goal man would be a "disaster".

February 27, 2017
Golf's Yang makes it two out of three in Thailand
She returned early Sunday morning and birdied the 17th to gain one more shot on the field as she closed out her third round. She is tied for 44th after the first round.

February 24, 2017
Storm Doris: 12 amber alerts issued as United Kingdom blasted by gales
Energy authorities warned people to keep clear of broken power lines and poles and to be extra vigilant with children and pets. Orkney Council's ferry services - the MV Eynhallow and MV Shapinsay - also suffered major disruption.

February 24, 2017
Pence visits vandalized cemetery in Missouri, condemns anti-Semitism
The president called the question insulting and said he was "the least anti-Semitic person you've ever seen in your entire life". Pence added that the Administration is going to replace the Affordable Care Act with "something that actually works".

February 23, 2017
Gold Prices Stick in the Range: Undeterred by Rate Hike Fears
In the January statement the FOMC repeated that reinvestments would continue until rate normalization is "well under way". That statement will add to rising expectations the FOMC might increase the benchmark rate at the March 14-15 meeting.

February 22, 2017
Kraft Heinz Withdraws $143 Billion Unilever Acquisition Bid
The value of failed deals is likely to continue, bankers say, with companies still likely to seek ambitious acquisitions. In addition the aborted bid offer will increase the pressure on Unilever to improve its profit margins.

February 21, 2017
Malaysian PM says Kim probe will be objective
At a press conference, when asked if the man was confirmed to be Kim Jong Nam, Zahid replied, "yes, certainly yes". Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korea's ruler, died soon after as he was being taken to a hospital.

February 18, 2017
Boeing Workers Vote Against Union Representation
In South Carolina, Trump said the jobs issue "is one of the primary reasons I'm standing here today as your president". Polling places opened early Wednesday morning throughout the aviation giant's sprawling facility in North Charleston .

February 18, 2017
Syria Peace Talks to Resume in Astana Next Month: Iranian Diplomat
Iranian deputy foreign minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari said that the sides were at "the beginning of a hard road". A Syrian source close to the government said the discussions in Astana would be "purely military".

February 17, 2017
Kevin Love's replacement has been found for NBA All-Star game
Love, 28, underwent a scan on the knee on Sunday after experiencing pain in the joint during Saturday's 125-109 win over Denver. When Love returns, he will have eight to ten games left in the regular season to shake the rust off his game.