The Wall Street Journal today explains how the Attorney General’s latest legal efforts in states like North Carolina are a veiled attempt to reverse the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the 1965 Voting Rights Act through back-door channels. As a result, “American racial history is frozen in the 1960s,” they note:

It’s telling that Mr. Holder prefers to file lawsuits rather than take up the Supreme Court’s invitation to modernize the Voting Rights Act for current racial conditions. The Congressional Black Caucus has said it is working on a new formula for preclearance, but such legislative labor doesn’t get the headlines that lawsuits against GOP-run states do.

All the evidence suggests that Mr. Holder’s real motive here is political. Portraying voter ID laws as racist helped to drive Democratic voter turnout among minorities in 2012, and the White House wants a repeat in 2014. Never mind if the suits eventually fail in court. The goal is to elect more Democrats in the meantime, even if it means needlessly increasing racial polarization.