Paul Broun

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Editorials: Conservatives’ 17th Amendment repeal effort: Why their plan will backfire. | David Schleicher/Slate

ver the past year, an increasingly central plank of conservative and Tea Party rhetoric is that constitutional change is needed and that the 17th Amendment in particular, which gives state residents the power to elect senators directly, should be repealed. (Previously, senators were selected by the state legislatures). Hard-right figures across the country, from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to Georgia Senate candidate Rep. Paul Broun to a steady drumbeat of state officials, have now called for repealing the amendment and giving the power to select senators back to the state legislatures. Radio host Mark Levin’s book The Liberty Amendments, calling for repeal, among other constitutional changes, was the best-selling book on constitutional law last year. Clearly this is an idea with legs. This boomlet of energy for repealing the 17th Amendment is not the first in recent memory. Back in 2010, repeal was similarly endorsed by a bevy of conservative bigwigs from Justice Antonin Scalia to Gov. Rick Perry to now-Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Back then, support for repeal was mocked in Democratic campaign ads as kooky, but perhaps it’s time to concede that it is no longer a fringe idea. Given the ascendance of the right flank of the GOP, it’s worth taking the argument for repeal seriously.

Full Article: Conservatives’ 17th Amendment repeal effort: Why their plan will backfire..

National: After Fiery Speech, Voting Rights Amendment Is Pulled | NYTimes.com

Sometimes during lengthy floor debates on bills, interesting things happen in the witching hours. Such was the case late Wednesday, when Representative John Lewis of Georgia pushed back with a fiery speech directed at an amendment offered by Representative Paul C. Broun of Georgia that would have barred the Justice Department from using money to enforce a part of the Voting Rights Act. At around 10 p.m., Mr. Lewis, a former civil rights leader, took to the podium to denounce the amendment, which sought to end financing for enforcement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, designed to protect minority voters from being disenfranchised.

Full Article: After Fiery Speech, Voting Rights Amendment Is Pulled - NYTimes.com.

National: After Fiery Speech, Voting Rights Amendment Is Pulled | NYTimes.com

Sometimes during lengthy floor debates on bills, interesting things happen in the witching hours. Such was the case late Wednesday, when Representative John Lewis of Georgia pushed back with a fiery speech directed at an amendment offered by Representative Paul C. Broun of Georgia that would have barred the Justice Department from using money to enforce a part of the Voting Rights Act. At around 10 p.m., Mr. Lewis, a former civil rights leader, took to the podium to denounce the amendment, which sought to end financing for enforcement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, designed to protect minority voters from being disenfranchised.

Full Article: After Fiery Speech, Voting Rights Amendment Is Pulled - NYTimes.com.

National: John Lewis objects, and Paul Broun backs away from attempt to gut Voting Rights Act | ajc.com

My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington sends this report of a confrontation between two Georgia members of Congress that you may not have heard about: Around 10 p.m. last night, as House debate over a contentious spending bill stretched on, Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, approached with an amendment to end all funding for U.S. Department of Justice enforcement of Section Five of the Voting Rights Act. This is the provision that requires states like Georgia to submit new election laws – last year’s statewide redistricting, for instance — for federal approval to ensure against disenfranchisement of minorities. Broun argued that this is a hammer held over only a few select states, and noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has suggested that the law has outlived its usefulness.

Full Article: John Lewis objects, and Paul Broun backs away from attempt to gut Voting Rights Act | Political Insider.

National: John Lewis objects, and Paul Broun backs away from attempt to gut Voting Rights Act | ajc.com

My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington sends this report of a confrontation between two Georgia members of Congress that you may not have heard about: Around 10 p.m. last night, as House debate over a contentious spending bill stretched on, Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, approached with an amendment to end all funding for U.S. Department of Justice enforcement of Section Five of the Voting Rights Act. This is the provision that requires states like Georgia to submit new election laws – last year’s statewide redistricting, for instance — for federal approval to ensure against disenfranchisement of minorities. Broun argued that this is a hammer held over only a few select states, and noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has suggested that the law has outlived its usefulness.

Full Article: John Lewis objects, and Paul Broun backs away from attempt to gut Voting Rights Act | Political Insider.