Democrats offer support for Voting Rights Act

Reps. Turner, Martinez Fisher: Texas an example of why act should be upheld

Published On: Feb 25 2013 05:53:45 PM CST
AUSTIN, Texas -

Lawmakers representing Hispanics and African Americans called Texas a textbook example of why the U.S. Supreme Court should uphold the Voting Rights Act.

Representatives Sylvester Turner and Trey Martinez Fisher said the Mexican American and Black Legislative Caucuses had filed a brief with the Court. They said recent voting laws passed in Texas make demonstrate why federal authorities need to pre-clear any changes to the Texas election code before they take effect.

In 2011, the Republican-controlled Legislature created new political districts and passed a law requiring a state-issued photo ID to vote. Federal courts found that both measures intentionally discriminated against minorities.

Republican leaders insist the laws are common sense. They've appealed the decisions. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on a case involving the Voting Rights Act.