The glee in Republican-controlled states after the Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act ruling in June may give way to a different feeling for state officials: The crushing weight of a full legal offensive from the U.S. Justice Department.
Attorney General Eric Holder is moving aggressively to renew federal control over Texas elections, even without the crucial legal lever the court eliminated. And Texas might be just the beginning.
The court invalidated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which required places with a history of discrimination to get any elections changes — everything from the location of polling places to voter ID laws — preapproved by a federal court or the Justice Department. All or parts of 16 states, mainly in the South, were bound by the so-called "preclearance" requirement.