Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday compared voter ID laws like the one in Texas to “poll taxes” that were outlawed by the 24th Amendment.
“As many of you know, yesterday was the first day in the trial of a case that the state of Texas filed against the Justice Department under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act seeking approval of it’s proposed voter ID law,” Holder told attendees at the 103rd convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “After close review, the department found that this law would be harmful to minority voters and we rejected its implementation.”
“Under the proposed law, concealed handgun licenses would be acceptable forms of photo ID, but student IDs would not,” the attorney general pointed out. “Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them. And some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them.”
“We call those poll taxes,” Holder added, reportedly straying from his prepared remarks.
The attorney general said he couldn’t predict what would happen in the Texas case, but he vowed to “not allow political pretext to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”
“The arc of American history has always moved towards expanding the electorate,” Holder explained. “We will simply not allow this era to be the reversal of that historic progress. I will not allow that to happen.”
The Justice Department has said that a disproportionate number of the 1.5 million Texas who do not have the proper ID are black or Hispanic, but lawyers for the state of Texas argued that those figures were inflated.
Poll taxes were a part of Jim Crow-era laws that were used largely in southern states to disenfranchise minority voters. The 24th Amendment abolished poll taxes in federal elections and the Supreme Court later banned them in state elections as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Watch this video from NAACP, broadcast July 10, 2012.
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019