Civil Rights groups say they will fight the immediately implementation of Voter I.D. in Texas, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"This is an example of how this Attorney General and this Legislature have moved in a backward direction,' State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio), the head of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, told 1200 WOAI news immediately after Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott made the announcement.
Abbott said to vote in any election, voters must present a valid government issued photo i.d. The ruling was made after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the portion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, saying Congress must approve new guidelines for the Justice Department to monitory elections in Texas and seven other states. The court said the current guidelines have not taken into consideration the progress made in making elections fair in Texas and other states with a history of discrimination against minorities at the polls in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Observers say it will be almost impossible for today's dysfunctional Congress to agree on what new guidelines should be implemented. Since the court said the Justice Department’s 'pre clearance' program cannot begin until Congress approves the new guidelines, that essentially means that pre-clearance will never return.
"The point is that when it comes to being poster children for voting rights, Texas will be front and center," Fischer said.
Gary Bledsoe, the President of the Texas NAACP, says his group will be part of any challenge to Voter I.D. laws being imposed.
"This decision is being celebrated by Jefferson Davis, Bull Connor, and white Supremacist groups throughout the country because this decision now places the political welfare of racial and ethnic minorities into the hands of those who seek to oppress them," said Luis Vera, attorney for the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Vera said the decision will cause 'clear damage' to the American democracy and the U.S. Constitution.
"The opinion amounts to a veto of a law passed overwhelmingly by Congress, authority not granted tot eh U.S. Supreme Court under the Constitution."
Abbott also announced that Republican-drawn Legislative and Congressional redistricting maps will immediately take effect. The Voting Rights Act had been used by opponents to justify legal action to have the maps declared Unconstitutional.