DOJ Files Lawsuit Against Texas to Protect ‘Fundamental Right’ To Vote

In Summary

The Department of Justice announced a lawsuit against the state of Texas on Thursday targeting the Republican-led state’s new voting legislation.  

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State over its voting legislation signed into law in September 2021.  

According to the department, the lawsuit is over the state’s “restrictive voting procedures imposed by Texas Senate Bill 1.”  

PREVIOUS: Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs Restrictive Voting Bill Into Law 

The Texas voting bill bans drive-thru voting, adds limits to early voting, bans drop boxes for mail-in ballots, adds new hurdles to the vote-by-mail process and gives new protections to partisan poll watchers.   

Like many other Republican legislators, Abbott began making it more difficult to vote after former President Donald Trump alleged the 2020 Presidential election was stolen. Other states, including Republican-led Georgia and Florida, have enacted similar bills restricting voting access.   

RELATED: Lawmakers Pass Restrictive Voting Bill in Texas 

The complaint from the Justice Department asserts the bill violates Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act by “improperly restricting what assistance in the polling booth voters who have a disability or are unable to read or write can receive.” The complaint also alleges the bill violates Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by rejecting mail ballots and mail ballot request forms because of certain paperwork errors.  

“Our democracy depends on the right of eligible voters to cast a ballot and to have that ballot counted,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. “The Justice Department will continue to use all the authorities at its disposal to protect this fundamental pillar of our society.”  

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said her unit is dedicated to fighting this issue. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting the fundamental right to vote for all Americans,” she said. “Laws that impair eligible citizens’ access to the ballot box have no place in our democracy.”  

In response to the lawsuit, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted, “Bring it. The Texas election integrity law is legal.”  

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