(POLITICO) In a rousing speech at the NAACP convention in Houston, Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday strongly defended his efforts to block controversial voter ID laws in some states – including Texas – saying the Justice Department “will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”

“The arc of American history has always moved toward expanding the electorate. It is what has made this nation exceptional. We will simply not allow this era to be the beginning of the reversal of that historic progress,” Holder told the assembled delegates.

Holder further suggested that the Texas voter ID laws were passed for political reasons rather than a genuine desire to prevent voting fraud.

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