Jeff Sessions
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

How do you keep Texas from turning blue? Well, one of the best ways is to make neo-segregationist Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III the Attorney General of the United States so he can drop the government’s case against the Lose Star State’s racist voter disenfranchisement law that has already been knocked down in the courts.

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…

…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.

Did Texas intentionally seek to discriminate against minorities or was that some kind of incidental side effect?

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 Department of Justice had one opinion until today, and now they have the opposite opinion.

“This signals to voters that they will not be protected under this administration,” [Danielle] Lang [the Campaign Legal Center’s deputy director of voting rights] 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.”

…The Justice Department is expected to lay out its new position during a hearing on Tuesday. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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.

This has nothing to do with Texas protecting the ballot box and everything to do with neo-segregationists doing everything they can to find a modern equivalent to asking blacks and (now) Latinos to guess how many jelly beans are in the jar.

The new Jim Crow may not be as bad as the old Jim Crow, but it’s close enough to earn universal moral condemnation.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at