Texans to feel impact of SCOTUS ‘Section 5’ ruling
Oral arguments are being heard this week in a U.S. Supreme Court case involving Alabama which could affect the way people vote in the state of Texas.
The case, Shelby County v. Holder, debates the constitutionality of the clearance requirements of what's known as "Section 5" of the Voting Rights Act.
A group of Texas lawmakers and other minority groups outlined why they believe Section 5 is vital to the livelihood of Texas minorities.
"Texas has really created a textbook example as to why we need The Voting Rights Act in Texas," Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fisher said.
Some believe two of the most recent moves by the legislature - the Voter ID law and redistricting—are discriminatory against minorities.
Under The Voting Rights Act, Texas is required to have any changes to election law cleared by either the Department of Justice or the district court.
Rep. Martinez Fisher, chairman of the Mexican American caucus, says this is beyond a partisan issue.
"Minorities have always found themselves on the losing side of The Voting Rights Act, no matter who was in office, there was always a challenge," Rep. Martinez Fisher said.
Political observers say Texas will feel the effects of the decision made on the case before the Supreme Court this week in the Shelby County case.
"Any changes that the Supreme Court makes to The Voting Rights Act and Section 5 will have repercussions in Texas, because it will affect just what the procedure will be for changing anything from election districts to voting laws," Jim Henson with the Texas Politics Project said.
Those in favor of ditching Section 5 say it has never been properly updated.
Members of different minority groups in Texas will be in Washington, DC monitoring the oral arguments Wednesday.