House Democrats handed a voting rights invoice that restores and strengthens components of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that have been struck down in two current Supreme Courtroom selections.
The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Development Act , named after the late Georgia consultant and civil rights activist, handed 219-212 on Tuesday night with no Republican assist.
Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated the invoice was important to cross “in order that the Supreme Courtroom of the US can not as soon as once more do violence because it did in Shelby County v. Holder and the newest assault on Part 2.” She referred to as the privilege of talking in favor of the invoice “virtually a non secular expertise due to the sanctity of the vote.”
“Any diminishment of the Voting Rights Act is a diminishment of our democracy,” Pelosi stated.
REPUBLICANS CALL JOHN LEWIS VOTING RIGHTS BILL A ‘PARTISAN POWER GRAB’
The 2013 Shelby County v. Holder determination decided preclearance necessities within the 1965 Voting Rights Act have been unconstitutional as a result of they now not responded to present circumstances. In response, the invoice would create a brand new method to find out which states want federal preclearance earlier than implementing adjustments in voting necessities.
The invoice additionally empowers federal authorities to overview adjustments in particular practices, together with voter identification legal guidelines and the discount of multilingual voting supplies.
In response to the 2021 Brnovich v. Democratic Nationwide Committee case, the Supreme Courtroom determined earlier this summer season, which created the next customary to problem voting legal guidelines based mostly on racial discrimination. The invoice would codify a decrease, beforehand used court docket customary used to rule on discrimination challenges.
Passage of the invoice offers Democrats hope of taking lasting motion on voting rights in a intently divided Congress. The celebration’s sweeping H.R. 1/S. 1 For the Folks Act, which might have massively upended native election legal guidelines, was blocked within the Senate earlier this 12 months.
Additionally it is a win for Democratic Texas state legislators who fled their state to delay a Republican election adjustments invoice and lobbied in Washington, D.C., for federal voting rights laws, together with the John Lewis invoice. A number of the Texas lawmakers joined Democratic Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee at a press convention earlier on Tuesday to rejoice its doubtless passage.
State Rep. Nicole Collier, chairwoman of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, observed the John Lewis invoice had not but been launched within the Home when she and her colleagues first arrived in Washington.
Republicans staunchly opposed the invoice, with many calling it a “partisan energy seize.”
California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa lamented that, as a substitute of coping with the disaster of evacuating Individuals and allies from Afghanistan, “We’re codifying a everlasting majority of the Democratic Social gathering in every single place they’ll.”
Whereas Republicans warn of federal overreach, some left-wing Democrats warned that the laws might not go far sufficient to fight a conservative-leaning Supreme Courtroom.
“The John Lewis Voting Rights Act is not going to be secure as long as six far-right justices of the Supreme Courtroom stand able to destroy our democracy,” stated New York Rep. Mondaire Jones, who has argued in favor of increasing the variety of justices on the Supreme Courtroom.
A model of the John Lewis invoice first handed the Home in 2019, when solely one Republican, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, voted in favor of the invoice. He didn’t assist Tuesday’s laws.
The laws now heads to the Senate, the place it might want assist from no less than 10 Republicans to beat the filibuster cloture rule and be despatched to President Joe Biden’s desk. Just one Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, has voiced assist for the invoice.