While President Obama and many others see the Supreme Court's June ruling on the Voter Rights Act as the complete knee-capping of minority election rights, our own Senator John Cornyn says everything is a-OK and it's about time.
Continuing his appeal to the right wing people of Texas, says the SC was right to shut down Section 4 of the act which required states like Texas to get advance approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before it set up voting districts and the like.
As Cornyn wrote in a statement released today:
Until the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 as unconstitutional, Texas needed permission from the Justice Department to implement even a change in a polling place. That arrangement was good for Eric Holder.
Take voter ID as an example. In 2011, Texas adopted a commonsense voter ID law. It requires voters to present one of a number of approved forms of photo ID at the polling place, just like you have to do to buy beer or get on a plane. The state offers voter ID cards free of charge. And the law allows voters unable to present a valid photo ID to cast a provisional ballot and return within a week with proper identification. It even makes exceptions for people who have a religious objection to being photographed or lost their ID as a result of a recent national disaster.
The law is reasonable, and it is popular. Protecting the integrity of the voting process is something that benefits everyone. The Supreme Court has held that voter ID laws are constitutional. But Section 4 subjected Texas to preclearance, giving Holder the ability to block Texas from implementing the law -- which he did.
Cornyn insists voter turnout is fine in Texas, citing Census Bureau statistics showing that "68.2 percent of registered Hispanic voters in Texas went to the polls in the 2000 general election. By 2012, with an additional 747,000 Hispanic Texans on the electoral roll, the rate had risen to 71.2 percent. Meanwhile, the rate for African-American Texans rose to over 86 percent in the same period - the highest among all racial groups tracked in the Census Bureau report."
Whether that continues under the new law -- well place your bets. Chances are that Cornyn and his followers have.
And take to heart these final words from Cornyn:
Unfortunately, these facts mean little to a politicized Justice Department bent on inserting itself into the sovereign affairs of Texas. As Texans, we reject the notion that the federal government knows what's best for us. We deserve the freedom to make our own laws and we deserve not to be insulted by a Justice Department committed to scoring cheap political points.