The GOP’s Racist Attack on Minority Voting Rights Might Finally Backfire in Texas
Dalia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern, Slate: The GOP’s Racist Attack on Minority Voting Rights Might Finally Backfire in Texas
the VRA has always included another provision that some have labeled its “secret weapon”: a mechanism to bring jurisdictions back under preclearance. Under this provision, which was not affected by the Shelby decision, a federal court may require a state to submit its voting laws to the DOJ for approval for a full decade if it has intentionally engaged in race-based voter suppression. That’s why Sessions urged Ramos not to decide whether Texas had suppressed minority votes with discriminatory intent—and why Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is freaking out that she did. If Ramos puts Texas under preclearance, and the decision is upheld, the state will have to demonstrate to the federal government that its election laws don’t discriminate against minorities for the next decade. Sessions might still rubber-stamp any new law, and he likely will, but a future Democratic administration could halt the state’s war on voting rights. And Texas’ plight would serve as a warning to other states cracking down on minority suffrage.
Texas is already a majority-minority state. If Hispanic voter turn-out can be ramped up, one of the most reactionary states in the country could be turned purple. These decisions striking down Texas’ racist voter suppression and gerrymandering laws will help.