Justice Department Voter ID Decision Protects South Carolina Voters

June 30, 2012

Yesterday, the Department of Justice, for the second time, denied a request to approve South Carolina’s voter ID law. The Brennan Center released the following statement from Senior Counsel Keesha Gaskins applauding the decision:

“The Department of Justice stood up for South Carolina voters by refusing to approve this discriminatory law. As we celebrate Independence Day in a few days, we must remember our nation’s founding principle that ‘all men are created equal.’ It is wrong to pass laws that block some Americans from voting, and to deny them the opportunity to participate equally in our democracy. We are glad the Justice Department stepped in to reject this law, and we urge the federal court to do the same at trial.”

Under the federal Voting Rights Act, changes to South Carolina’s election laws must be “pre-cleared” by the Department of Justice or a D.C federal court. After the Justice Department rejected South Carolina’s voter ID law because of its discriminatory effect on minority voters, South Carolina sued in federal court. The trial is set for July 30th.

The Brennan Center — in partnership with Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the law firm Sullivan and Cromwell — intervened in the case on behalf of the League of Women Voters of South Carolina and other individual clients.

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact Erik Opsal at erik.opsal@nyu.edu or 646-292-8356.