WASHINGTON -- House lawmakers are giving another push to legislation that went nowhere in the last Congress: a bill to restore the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act.
The bill, introduced Wednesday by Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.), responds to the Supreme Court ruling that struck down Section 4 of the law in 2013. In a 5-4 vote, the court declared it was time to update the section, which determined which states and localities with a history of minority voter suppression had to clear changes to their voting laws with the Justice Department. The justices left it up to Congress to come up with a new formula for designating which regions of the country require special scrutiny.
The Sensenbrenner-Conyers bill, known as the Voting Rights Amendment Act, updates that formula by making it apply to all states and jurisdictions with voting violations in the past 15 years, and by creating uniform transparency requirements to keep communities informed about voting changes.