The U.S. Justice Department is planning to challenge a Texas Law requiring that voters show identification at the polls.
Attorney General Eric Holder said it signals a new effort on voting rights enforcement following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year that threw out a key part of the Voting Rights Act. The announcement of the Justice Department lawsuit will be a test case in challenging the Supreme Court's decision.
That ruling essentially invalidated the formula used to determine which states or local jurisdictions could remain under special federal oversight.
Local Democrats welcomed the lawsuit.
"I'm glad that we are being assisted here in Texas with the attack here against voter rights. Against minorities," said Joseph Ramirez, chairman of the Nueces County Democratic Party Chairman. "As you well know, Texas is ready to fight back."
Ramirez said the state's voter ID law dilutes the very basic concept of the 1960's Voting Rights Act.
It was in June when the Supreme Court invalidated the formula used to determine which states or local jurisdictions -- mostly in the south -- could remain under special federal oversight; meaning approval from Washington is needed before they can change voting procedures.
The decision blunted much of the government's enforcement power in states with a history of discrimination at the polls, but the decision did not change the fact that it remains illegal to discriminate against a person when it comes to voting.
However, it does change how some states have been singled out.
"It goes against the fundamentals of the Constitution that every person is created equal, and that everyone has those rights," State Rep. Abel Herrero said. "And so we don't want to go in reverse order and repeat some of the transgressions on peoples rights."
In a statement, Texas Governor Rick Perry said "the filing of endless litigation in an effort to obstruct the will of the people of Texas is what we have come to expect from Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama." He added that "we will continue to defend the integrity of our elections against this administration's blatant disregard for the 10th Amendment."