Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee Thursday that the Justice Department will “vigorously use” anti-Jim Crow provisions in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to prevent some southern states from purging ineligible voters from their rolls and enacting voter-I.D. laws.
“It is the position of this Department of Justice and certainly this Attorney General that we will vigorously defend and vigorously use Section 5. The need for it is still there.”
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires several southern states and counties in states such as California and Florida to get federal “pre-clearance” before they change any voting eligibility laws or voting requirements or procedures.
Originally, the provision was designed to combat the legacy of racist Jim Crow laws passed in some states to prevent black people from voting.