The Senate Judiciary Committee next week will examine legislation designed to restore the voting rights protections shot down by the Supreme Court last summer. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has scheduled a June 25 hearing on the Voting Rights Amendment Act, his bill aimed at updating those sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) deemed by the high court to be unconstitutional. The date marks the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision, which Leahy characterized as a “disastrous” threat to voting protections. He’s urging lawmakers to adopt his bill ahead of November’s midterm elections.
“It is time for Congress to act,” Leahy said Monday in a statement. “Just as Congress came together 50 years ago to enact the Civil Rights Act, Democrats and Republicans should work together now to renew and strengthen the Voting Rights Act, which has always been bipartisan.
“This year should be no different, and I hope all Republicans will work with us to enact the meaningful protections in the Voting Rights Amendment Act.”
There’s been much less appetite for updating the VRA in the Republican-controlled House. Although a proposal has the vocal support of several prominent Republicans, including former Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (Wis.), GOP leaders have not said if they’ll try to move legislation on the issue this year.
Full Article: Senate panel to examine voting rights fix | TheHill.