Last year the staff at Slate asked me to predict what would happen with voting rights in the Trump era, as part of a broader set of predictions about Trump’s effects on politics, law, and culture. Well they’ve now gone back to look at whether the predictions have come true, and here’s my contribution:
Prediction, Voting Rights: The Department of Justice under new attorney general Jeff Sessions will reverse his department’s challenges to the legality of Texas’ voter ID law and North Carolina’s law making it harder to register and to vote, leading more Republican states to adopt similar restrictive laws even before the Supreme Court may weigh in on these issues.
One Year Later: Mostly Correct. The Department of Justice indeed has flipped to side with Texas in the case challenging the state’s strict voter identification law and flipped to side with Ohio in a case about the state making it easier to purge eligible voters from the voting rolls. (The Supreme Court did not take the North Carolina voting case on technical reasons that I hope I inspired.) Republican states continue to push for new laws making it harder to register and vote as the rest of us wait for eventual signals from the Supreme Court over whether actions like Texas’ and Ohio’s are acceptable.
—Richard L. Hasen, professor of law and political science at the University of California–Irvine School of Law