Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 16, 2014

Posts in "Voting Rights"

March 12, 2014

Can Cantor Deliver on Voting Rights Act?

GOP Caucus 3 010814 445x295 Can Cantor Deliver on Voting Rights Act?

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After two trips to the Deep South alongside civil rights icon and Georgia Democrat John Lewis, the pressure is on Eric Cantor to deliver on the Voting Rights Act.

The majority leader has made a major, personal investment in connecting to the civil rights movement — something that ultimately could prove important for a GOP that regularly polls in the single digits among African-Americans and poorly among other minorities.

But translating participation in the Faith and Politics Institute’s annual pilgrimage into legislative text that can win support from the bulk of the Republican Conference isn’t an easy task.

And so far, Cantor hasn’t laid out a clear path for a bill nine months after declaring his support for a congressional response to the Supreme Court decision striking down the VRA’s core enforcement mechanisms.

Democrats have signaled that they trust Cantor, a Virginia Republican, on this issue, and that the extent to which he is able to help advance a VRA fix depends largely on his ability to mobilize his flock, many of whom are hostile to the idea.

“A lot of what is happening on the other side of the aisle wouldn’t be happening if it were up to Cantor,” said the House’s No. 3 Democrat, James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, adding that many far-right Republicans “relish in gumming up the works.”
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January 16, 2014

Champions of Voting Rights Act Compromise Are Cautiously Optimistic

An eclectic group of House and Senate lawmakers expressed cautious optimism Thursday afternoon that their proposed “modernization” of the historic Voting Rights Act would become law this year. Full story

Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Voting Rights Act Fix (Updated)

conyers011614 445x309 Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Voting Rights Act Fix (Updated)

Conyers, above, Sensenbrenner and Leahy brokered a legislative fix to the Voting Rights Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:16 p.m. | Several months after the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a legislative fix.

Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., brokered the legislation, aimed at restoring federal “preclearance” of voting laws in states with a history of racial discrimination.

The Supreme Court struck down the current formula in a landmark ruling last summer and challenged Congress to revise it for the 21st century through legislation.

“Our sole focus throughout this entire process was to ensure that no American would be denied his or her constitutional right to vote because of discrimination on the basis of race or color,” Leahy said in a statement.

Sensenbrenner said the bill “includes strong, nationwide anti-discrimination protections and continues to permit states to enact reasonable voter ID laws. Therefore, it prevents racial discrimination and gives states the ability to address voter fraud.” Full story

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