Clerk Orr Statement on Justice Department Reversal in Texas Voter ID Case

David Orr Texas voter ID law
Cook County Clerk David Orr. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Calling it a “surgical assault and attack on voting rights,” Cook County Clerk David Orr issued a statement in response to the Trump administration abandoning the long-standing case against the 2011 Texas voter ID law.

Some background from Time:

The Trump administration plans to abandon the federal government’s longstanding opposition to a key portion of Texas’ toughest-in-the-nation voter ID law, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said Monday.

It’s a dramatic break from the agency under President Barack Obama, which spent years arguing that the 2011 voter ID law that Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature passed was intended to disenfranchise poor and minority voters.

Danielle Lang of the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center called the decision an “extraordinary disappointment.”

“It’s a complete 180,” said Lang, the center’s deputy director of voting rights. “We can’t make heads or tails of any factual reason for the change. There has been no new evidence that’s come to light.”

Clerk Orr’s statement follows:

I am disheartened by the Department of Justice’s announcement today that it will abandon previous claims that a Texas voter identification law intentionally discriminates against minority voters.

Today’s DOJ announcement is another stark reminder of the surgical assault and attack on voting rights. New and stringent voter ID requirements have spread throughout the country since the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act several years ago and I suspect will continue to grow under the new administration.

I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to repeat it: no one in the United States should ever win an election by denying or suppressing the vote. These voter ID laws are simply wrong and the fundamental right to vote must always be protected.

The courts have acknowledged that the Texas law has a discriminatory impact on hundreds of thousands of minority voters. If the court grants the Department of Justice’s request, the case will continue with the other plaintiffs and I am hopeful that the courts will not be influenced by this reversal.

David Orr,
Cook County Clerk