President Trump's Justice Department is ending the government's opposition to a controversial voter ID law in Texas, according to a group involved in the case.
Danielle Lang, the Campaign Legal Center's deputy director of voting rights, told The Associated Press and Talking Points Memo on Monday that the Justice Department informed her group and others suing the state of the government's change in position.
After six years of legal wrangling, the Justice Department will no longer argue that Texas intentionally sought to discriminate against minorities when it passed the law that mandates voters show certain forms of identification before casting a ballot.
"This signals to voters that they will not be protected under this administration," Lang told Talking Points Memo.
“We have already had a nine-day trial and presented thousands of pages of documents demonstrating that the picking and choosing of what IDs count was entirely discriminatory and would fall more harshly on minority voters. So for the [Justice Department] to come in and drop those claims just because of a change of administration is outrageous.”
Lang said that despite the federal government's change of heart, organizations challenging the Texas law will press on.
While a federal appeals court struck down the voter ID law a few months before the 2016 elections on the grounds that it had a discriminatory effect, it sent the question about intent back to the lower courts. The Supreme Court rejected Texas's appeal earlier this year on the first question.
The Justice Department is expected to lay out its new position during a hearing on Tuesday. Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE is a supporter of voter identification laws as long as they are "properly drafted" and has voiced skepticism about the Voting Rights Act.
Republicans argue that the limits are unnecessary burdens on a state's right to make its own laws to protect the ballot box.