Voter ID: As many expected, the U.S. Dept. of Justice has reversed its prior participation in the years-long litigation over the state’s Voter ID bill and “will not pursue its purpose claim at this time.” Further, DoJ asks the court to grant “voluntary dismissal of that claim without prejudice.”

Echoing last week’s joint filing with the state seeking postponement of the trial, DoJ argues that “the appropriate course is to await the Texas Legislature’s consideration of S.B. 5 before conducting any further proceedings in this case.”

The government’s filing erroneously states that all 31 senators have co-authored Senate Bill 5 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), the proposed amendments to the Voter ID law that include provisions ordered by the courts to accept voters with reasonable impediments to obtaining a required photo ID. All 20 of the Republican members are signed up as co-authors, but no Democrat is listed as a co-author.

The trial to determine whether the state passed the 2011 law with discriminatory intent is scheduled to begin tomorrow (Tuesday) in Corpus Christi.

Meanwhile, Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) filed House Bill 2481, the House companion to Senate Bill 5. Elections Committee Chair Jodie Laubenberg (R-Wylie) and Reps. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) and Tan Parker (R-Flower Mounds) are joint authors.

SD16: In a series of tweets, Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) described Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) as “incapable of almost every duty he has.” Villalba has previously criticized Huffines on social media after the senator paid for mail pieces on behalf of Villalba’s unsuccessful primary challenger last year. Huffines’s campaign consultant Matt Langston tweeted back to Villalba asking if he was “declaring a run.”

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