"ALL CATTLE, VERY LITTLE HAT..."

Mar 19, 2012Word on the Street

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a Section 5 challenge. Here's what Christian Adams had to say about it...

"... Apparently Eric Holder is going to find out what happens when you mess with Texas over voter ID...Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an amended complaint directly attacking the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 allowed Eric Holder to block Texas Voter ID. (My column Texas: All Hat and No Cattle on Voter ID? described this approach). It is noteworthy that Abbott seems to have added a single, straightforward, paragraph: "The 2006 reauthorization of Section 5 is unconstitutional on its face for the reasons provided in Northwest Austin." (Par. 52). And with about 45 seconds of editing a complaint, we learn Texas is all cattle, and very little hat. . . ."

And this from the TX Redistricting site - Texas Goes Big on Section 5

The State of Texas is seeking permission from the three-judge panel in the voter ID case to file an amended complaint that would directly challenge the constitutionality of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The amended complaint informed the court in the introduction that, as an alternative grounds for relief, "the State of Texas seeks a declaration that section 5, as most recently amended and reauthorized by the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress and conflicts with Article IV of the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment." With the filing, Texas now moves to the forefront, along with the Shelby County case out of Alabama, in re-raising the constitutional issue after the high court's 2009 decision to punt the issue. However, because Texas' case, unlike the Shelby County case, involves a three-judge panel, appeals from the case would go directly to the Supreme Court. That means Texas' case has the potential for getting to the Supreme Court first, depending on how the timing works out. (Shelby County was argued in late January at the D.C. Circuit and is pending decision.) Suffice it to say, things just got a little more interesting. The amended complaint can be found here. (h/t to Erin Anderson for putting this piece together)

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