As I explained in this National Law Journal piece from a few weeks ago, AG Holder is trying whatever he can to make up for the loss of the preclearance provisions of Section 5.
But thanks to the Supreme Court’s stingy interpretation of section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, a section 2 suit on voter id will be tough to win. In this recent Slate piece on North Carolina’s tough voter law, I explain that the preclearance provision which the Court eviscerated in the Shelby County case was serving a real deterrent purpose, and that the Justices should have expected (and may have anticipated) this wave of anti-voter laws.
The bigger question is whether the court in the lawsuit against Texas redistricting (into which DOJ will now seek intervention) will lead to Texas being covered again under the bail-in provisions of section 3 of the voting rights act. That requires proof of intentional discrimination on the part of Texas. I’ve evaluated the chances of that suit succeeding here and here. I think the suit has a real chance, but much depends upon the views of the three judges hearing the redistricting suit, and ultimately the Supreme Court.