Federal judge tells Beaumont election officials not to harass or discriminate against Black voters
Claims of misconduct during early voting were raised in a federal lawsuit filed Monday by the Beaumont chapter of the NAACP, accusing election workers of scrutinizing Black voters’ identities and shadowing them while at voting stations
Justices mull latest challenge to landmark voting rights law
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's conservative majority appeared open Tuesday to making it harder to create majority Black electoral districts, in an Alabama case that could have far-reaching effe[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Ketanji Brown Jackson invokes 14th Amendment history during Supreme Court voting rights hearing
The court’s newest justice and first Black woman participated in oral arguments Tuesday in a case involving Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bars racial discrimination in voting policies.news.yahoo.com
Galveston County’s redistricting plan provides a serious test case for the weakened Voting Rights Act – Houston Public Media
The Biden Justice Department is suing the county under Section 2 of the act, alleging intentional discrimination against minority voters in the redrawing of its commissioner precinct boundaries.houstonpublicmedia.org
“Unwinnable race”: State Sen. Beverly Powell of Burleson ends reelection bid, citing redrawn political map
Powell, a Democrat, had won Senate District 10 by winning over a coalition of diverse voters in Tarrant County. The GOP redrew the district to branch out to counties to the south and west that made it more rural and more white.
Watch live: Harris County attorney speaks on lawsuit challenging controversial Texas’ voting bill, SB1.
Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee will hold a press conference Friday afternoon to give an update on the preliminary injunction hearing in lawsuit challenging Texas’ voting bill, Senate Bill 1.
High court's Alabama ruling sparks alarm over voting rights
The Supreme Court’s decision to halt efforts to create a second mostly Black congressional district in Alabama for the 2022 election has sparked fresh warnings that the court is eroding the Voting Rights Act and reviving the need for Congress to intervene.
Texas violated voting rights law during redistricting, retiring state GOP senator says in sworn court statement – Houston Public Media
A three-judge federal panel is hearing arguments in a lawsuit claiming that Texas Republicans violated the Voting Rights Act when they redrew state Senate District 10 in Tarrant County to lessen Black and Hispanic voting power.houstonpublicmedia.org
Texas violated voting rights law during redistricting, retiring state GOP senator says in sworn court statement
A three-judge federal panel is hearing arguments in a lawsuit claiming that Texas Republicans violated the Voting Rights Act when they redrew state Senate District 10 in Tarrant County to lessen Black and Hispanic voting power.
'I am American’: Black Americans use social media to respond to McConnell’s comments on voting
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Black Americans “are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans,” sparking outrage online. His office said he misspoke and meant to say “other Americans."washingtonpost.com
Analysis: A Texas election in the shade of government’s third branch
Challenges to new Texas laws on voting, political districts and abortion are all pending in court, as is the state’s challenge to federal vaccine mandates. But until the courts rule, those laws remain in place — and they provide political fodder for the incumbents who support them.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke Delivers Remarks at the Democracy Fund’s Language Access for Voters Summit
Enforcement of federal voting rights laws continues to be a top priority for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Second, the Civil Rights Division has worked to promote compliance with our nation’s federal voting rights laws in a number of areas. We will continue monitoring redistricting efforts across the country to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act. The Civil Rights Division also brings civil legal actions to remedy violations of the language minority provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Language access, including the access provided pursuant to Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, opens doors to voters who do not have proficiency in English.justice.gov
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta Delivers Remarks Announcing Lawsuit Against the State of Texas to Challenge Statewide Redistricting Plan
Today, we are filing suit against the State of Texas based on our determination that Texas’ 2021 Redistricting Plans violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Instead, our investigation determined that Texas’ redistricting plans will dilute the increased minority voting strength that should have developed from these significant demographic shifts. These redistricting plans will diminish the opportunities for Latino and Black voters in Texas to elect their preferred representatives. The complaint also asks the court to establish interim plans pending a lawful state redistricting. The Justice Department stands ready to protect the constitutionally guaranteed voting rights of Americans in Texas and indeed throughout the country.justice.gov
Justice Department sues Texas over new redistricting maps
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Justice Department sued Texas over new redistricting maps Monday, saying the plans discriminate against the very Black and Latino voters who have fueled the state's population[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks Announcing Lawsuit Against the State of Texas to Challenge Statewide Redistricting Plan
Today, the Justice Department has filed suit against the State of Texas for violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. As many of you know, in 2013, the Supreme Court effectively eliminated the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which had been the department’s best tool for protecting voting rights. Earlier this year, I noted that this redistricting cycle would be the first to proceed since 1960 without the protection of preclearance. We also filed a statement of interest in Florida litigation explaining, among other things, that private parties can bring claims to enforce the Voting Rights Act. Were that preclearance tool still in place, we would likely not be here today announcing this complaint.justice.gov
Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against the State of Texas to Challenge Statewide Redistricting Plans
The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it has filed a lawsuit under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act against the State of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State, challenging the State’s redistricting plans for the Texas congressional delegation and the Texas House of Representatives. The United States’ complaint asks the court to prohibit Texas from conducting elections under the challenged plans and asks the court to order Texas to devise and implement new plans that comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The complaint also asks the court to establish interim plans pending a lawful state redistricting. On Sept. 1, the department issued guidance under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, for redistricting and methods of electing government bodies. More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice’s website at https://www.justice.gov/crt/voting-section.justice.gov
U.S. Department of Justice files suit against Texas over voting law saying SB 1 improperly restricts, harms voters
The U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit against the State of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State over voting procedures it deems restrictive that have been put into place by Texas Senate Bill 1, which was signed into law in September 2021.
Justice Department sues Texas over new voting law, targeting restrictions on mail-in ballots and voter assistance
The elderly, voters with disabilities and voters with limited English proficiency risk disenfranchisement under sweeping legislation Texas Republicans pushed through earlier this year, the justice department argues in its legal challenge to Senate Bill 1.
Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against the State of Texas to Protect Voting Rights
The U.S. Justice Department announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against the State of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State over certain restrictive voting procedures imposed by Texas Senate Bill 1, which was signed into law in September 2021. The United States’ complaint challenges provisions of Senate Bill 1 under Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act and Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “The Justice Department will continue to use all the authorities at its disposal to protect this fundamental pillar of our society.”“The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting the fundamental right to vote for all Americans,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. More information about the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot. View a list of the department’s actions to protect voting rights here.justice.gov
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke Gives Remarks at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Legislative Summit
Our Voting Section enforces the civil provisions of statutes like the Voting Rights Act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1960 and 1964. But, today, I am here to speak about one additional federal restraint: Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The division enforces Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act across the country. The Supreme Court has repeatedly reaffirmed Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act as having application to districting plans. I hope that my remarks provide you a sense of the seriousness and care the Civil Rights Division devotes to ensuring that districting maps comply with the Voting Rights Act.justice.gov
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke Testifies Before the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the department’s work to implement and enforce the Voting Rights Act and the need to revitalize and restore the Act. The Voting Rights Act is, as President Johnson said “one of the most monumental laws in the entire history of American freedom.” It is a law that has helped to truly transform American democracy. For the Justice Department, restoring and strengthening the Voting Rights Act is a matter of great urgency. In over 60% of blocked voting changes, there was evidence of intentional discrimination. Without preclearance, the Justice Department will have limited tools to obtain documents and assess where voting rights are being restricted – thereby hampering enforcement efforts.justice.gov
Justice Department Issues Guidance on Federal Statutes Regarding Redistricting and Methods for Electing Public Officials
Today’s announcement follows Attorney General Garland’s recent commitment to expand the Justice Department’s efforts to safeguard voting rights. For a list of the department’s actions to protect voting rights, click here. More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot. Members of the public are encouraged to send any complaints or comments regarding possible violations of the federal voting rights laws to the Voting Section. This can include complaints or comments about methods of election or districting plans that may violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.justice.gov
New Texas voting laws, political maps could once again require federal approval under U.S. House bill named after John Lewis
The U.S. House on Tuesday passed a bill that could complicate both the coming round of redistricting in Texas and a voting restrictions bill currently under consideration in the state Legislature.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
New Texas voting laws, political maps could once again require federal approval under U.S. House bill named after John Lewis
The federal bill seeks to reinstate sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were written to protect people of color. Texas House Democrats see it as a way to prevent implementing provisions of a Texas voting restrictions bill moving through the state Legislature.
Statement of Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on the Anniversary of the Death of Congressman John Lewis
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland issued the following statement today commemorating the life of Congressman John Lewis:“One year ago today, the nation lost Congressman John Lewis. Throughout his life, Congressman Lewis fought fearlessly to ensure people’s freedom, equality, and other basic human rights. “Congressman Lewis often spoke about getting into ‘good trouble, necessary trouble,’ and his ‘trouble’ got results. Their act of protest paved the way for the passage of the Voting Rights Act, and an exponential increase in Black voter registration. There is no more fitting way to honor the profound legacy of Congressman Lewis.”justice.gov
Sen. Joe Manchin, key Democratic holdout on federal voting protections, coming to Texas for fundraiser hosted by several GOP donors
The fundraiser comes just a day after Manchin met with Texas House Democrats on Capitol Hill who are desperate for his support of the congressional efforts which could preempt the statewide GOP’s push to pass bills that would restrict voting access for Texans.
Behind the partisan drama lies a profoundly serious struggle over who gets shut out under Texas voting laws
Whose voices will be heard in Texas halls of power? That question beats at the heart of the Democratic quorum break that has brought the Legislature to a halt and focused national attention on GOP efforts to make voting in Texas harder.
Democrats fear Texas Republicans will push even harder in second bid to pass new voting restrictions
As the Legislature's special session dawns, political developments have raised the stakes for how far Republicans might go in enacting new voting restrictions, and how they might impact voters of color.
Protecting the freedom to vote in Texas – The Big Bend Sentinel
This past week we celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of our nation. The 13 colonies were tired of taxation without representation. In the 245 years since, our nation struggled to ensure that everyone had the equal right to vote and access to the ballot box. In the early 1800s, new states that entered the union gave the right to vote to non-property owners. It wasn't until the ratification of 15th Amendment in 1870 that the right to vote could not be denied on the account of race. It took the passage of the 19th Amendment to guarantee women the right to vote. Even with those constitutional protections, there were still local laws enacted aimed at disenfranchising voters. After many battles and with the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, our nation once again declared that the right to vote and access to the ballot box were fundamental to this nation.bigbendsentinel.com
Supreme Court could put new limits on voting rights lawsuits
Eight years after carving the heart out of a landmark voting rights law, the Supreme Court is looking at putting new limits on efforts to combat racial discrimination in voting. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)WASHINGTON – Eight years after carving the heart out of a landmark voting rights law, the Supreme Court is looking at putting new limits on efforts to combat racial discrimination in voting. “It cannot rely simply on the past.”AdDemocrats in Congress will try again to revive the advance approval provision of the voting rights law. AdNearly 75 businesses, including PayPal, Levi Strauss and Impossible Foods, joined in a brief urging the court to “fully preserve the Voting Rights Act." The Justice Department will not be part of Tuesday’s arguments, a rarity in a voting rights case.
‘Modern-day voter suppression’: Advocates, officials call on Abbott to rescind order limiting ballot drop-off sites
Greg Abbott to rescind the order he issued last week that limits the number of mail-in ballot drop-off sites to one per county. Abbott said Thursday that his order is meant to strengthen voting security and prevent illegal voting attempts during the coronavirus pandemic. Most people who spoke at Monday’s news conference highlighted the sheer size of Harris County when making the case against reducing the number of drop-off sites in the county from 12 to one. Max Miller Jr., leader of the ministers' association, called Abbott’s order “crooked” and “modern-day voter suppression,” saying that Abbott knows his order is directed at the Black community. Limiting the number of drop-off sites available to absentee voters reduces the options Texans have to participate in the 2020 election without risking their health,” Drazin continued.
Supreme Court to review Arizona 'ballot harvesting' law
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said Friday it will review a 2016 Arizona law that bars anyone but a family member or caregiver from returning another person’s early ballot. In the Arizona case, a federal appeals court ruled in January that Arizona's law banning so-called “ballot harvesting” violates the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution, but the court put its ruling on hold while the Supreme Court was asked to take the case. The court said both have a discriminatory impact on minority voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The high court in recent years has weakened the Voting Rights Act, throwing out the most powerful part of the landmark law in 2013. The Supreme Court has already filled its argument calendar through December, so none of the cases will be argued before January 2021.
Election chaos renews focus on gutted Voting Rights Act
Nothing more and nothing less.But the meltdown was also a manifestation of a landmark Supreme Court case that gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. Conservatives are trying to use an Arizona case over absentee voting to further weaken the Voting Rights Act. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has called for restoring the Voting Rights Act, but he has not released detailed proposals. A White House spokesman declined to comment when asked whether Trump might ever pursue a Voting Rights Act update. The previous requirements were a key voting rights tool because it turned a usual legal principle on its head.