On Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reversed course on a contested voter ID law in Texas that is among the strictest in the nation. Voting rights groups have been fighting the law—which Talking Points Memo notes would allow gun licenses to serve as sufficient identification at the polls but not student IDs—since it was passed in 2011 on the grounds that it intentionally discriminates against minority voters. Last year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law does result in discrimination, but sent the question of intent back to the lower court. The case will move forward on Tuesday without the DOJ’s support.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a longtime proponent of voter ID laws, and said in his confirmation hearings that he believes “we regularly have fraudulent activities occur during election cycles,” and called the Voting Rights Act “intrusive.”