One day after a three-judge panel heard arguments about the legality of Texas’s photo ID voting law, Attorney General Eric Holder went to Houston to speak at the NAACP Convention. Holder denounced Texas’s photo ID law as a political stunt used to disenfranchise minorities during his speech.
Attendees and journalists were asked for photo IDs to verify their identities at the conference. Holder criticized Texas’s photo ID law for requiring the same of voters and discriminating disproportionately against minorities, according to his prepared remarks.
“In our efforts to protect voting rights and to prevent voting fraud, we will be vigilant and strong,” Holder said. “But let me be clear: we will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”
Holder said he will ensure “ the Justice Department’s efforts to uphold and enforce voting rights will remain aggressive” and has “every expectation that we’ll continue to be effective.”
Holder also spoke about Arizona’s S.B. 1070 law and, in language clearly designed to appeal to and scare Blacks and Hispanics, said, “No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like.”