A proposal to restore prior federal approval of changes in voting laws or practices in areas with a history of discrimination advanced in the House on Oct. 23, more than six years after the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act.
The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee voted 19 to 6 along party lines to send the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 to the full chamber for consideration. It’s unclear when the House might take it up and Republicans say companion legislation would go nowhere in the Senate.
The bill is necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 “to its full vitality” after the justices essentially “gutted” the core civil rights statute with its “disastrous” Shelby County ruling, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York said.
The new formula targets the “most recent and worst offenders,” said University of Chicago Law School’s Travis Crum, by requiring preclearance for states that have had 15 or more voting rights violations within the last 25 years, or just 10 if one of the violations was committed by the state itself, as opposed to a local government.
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