The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] introduced a motion to withdraw [materials] in a Texas Federal Court Monday, reversing its previous stance that SB 14 [materials], a Texas voter ID law, was created with an intent to discriminate against minorities. The original claim was filed under the Obama administration, which targeted voter ID laws nationwide. The newly appointed Attorney General, Jeff Sessions [official profile], has made voter registration legislation a priority in recent weeks, giving support to voter ID laws in an effort to curb allegedly rampant voter fraud. The Texas voter ID law is considered to be one of the strictest in the country. Opponents believe that it would hamper those who could legally vote from the polls.
Since being signed into law in 2011 by then Texas Governor, Rick Perry, SB 14 has been a contentious issue for the state legislature, citizens and judiciary. In January the US Supreme Court [official website] declined to hear an appeal [JURIST report] at the behest of the state of Texas over its voter ID law. In September a federal judge ordered Texas to revise its voter ID materials [JURIST report], as it had been found to not comply with an order to relax the law. The challenges began to appear after a series of cases prior to the 2014 general elections. The Supreme Court ultimately decided the matter, allowing [JURIST report] that the 2011 bill be allowed for the midterm elections in 2014, providing no reasoning behind the order.