Today, the Voting Rights Act turns 47 years old. The 1965 law was passed to put an end to Jim Crow-era laws that, along with intimidation and violence, disenfranchised black Americans in the South. Even when black southerners were able to register to vote, they were often required to pass literacy tests, recite the preamble of the Constitution from memory, and pay poll taxes. The Voting Rights Act gave the federal government the tools to prevent discriminatory voting practices passed by the states and guarantee the right to vote for all eligible voters.
Texas claimed this week in a court filing that a key provision of the Voting Rights Act should be overturned because it violates the United States Constitution. The state is currently suing the federal government to obtain approval of a law that would compel Texans to produce a photo ID before they are allowed to vote. Texas claims that the strict ID requirement is necessary to prevent voter fraud. However, the U.S.