Skip to comments.GOP's Sensenbrenner calls for update of Voting Rights Act
Posted on 06/26/2013 2:20:48 PM PDT by jazusamo
A leading House Republican is calling on Congress to update the Voting Rights Act just a day after the Supreme Court neutered its central provision.
Warning that "the threat of discrimination still exists," Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) is urging lawmakers from both parties to cast aside partisanship and restore the law for the sake of protecting voters' rights.
"The Voting Rights Act is vital to Americas commitment to never again permit racial prejudices in the electoral process," Sensenbrenner, the second-ranked Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday in a statement.
"This is going to take time and will require members from both sides of the aisle to put partisan politics aside and ensure Americans most sacred right is protected."
Tuesday's 5-4 decision struck down a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which required a number of states with a history of racial discrimination to get Washington's approval before changing their voting procedures.
Behind Chief Justice John Roberts, the court's conservative majority found that the formula dictating which states are subject to the extra hurdles defined by Section 4 of the law is outdated and therefore unconstitutional.
"Coverage today is based on decades-old data and eradicated practices," Roberts wrote. "Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions."
The court did not invalidate Section 5 of the law, which empowers the federal government to require preclearance of voting changes for certain states and localities. But without a formula to determine which regions are subject to the extra scrutiny, Section 5 is effectively neutered.
Roberts invited Congress to "draft another formula based on current conditions." Sensenbrenner says he plans to do just that.
"Section 5 of the Act was a bipartisan effort to rectify past injustices and ensure minorities ability to participate in elections, but the threat of discrimination still exists," he said.
"I am disappointed by the Courts ruling," he added, "but my colleagues and I will work in a bipartisan fashion to update Section 4 to ensure Section 5 can be properly implemented to protect voting rights, especially for minorities."
Sensenbrenner's views found support from at least one other member of the GOP on Capitol Hill: Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio, who also serves on the Judiciary Committee.
I am disappointed that the Court invalidated the Voting Rights Acts coverage formula, which has been used for decades to help protect the voting rights of millions of Americans," Chabot said.
"However, by leaving Section 5s pre-clearance requirements intact, the Court has given Congress the opportunity to amend the coverage formula to preserve these important protections. I am hopeful that we will work together to enact an appropriate fix in the same bipartisan manner and spirit that we did when reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act in 2006.
Meanwhile, the top House Democrat is already eying legislation to overturn the Court's decision.
"It's really a step backward, and it's not a reflection of what's really happening in our country in some of these places," Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told The Hill.
House Democrats are meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss what a legislative fix would look like.
Pelosi is already floating a name for a possible bill: "I would like to see something ... called the John Lewis Voting Rights Act," she said.
What is it with these stupid Republicans? They just have to find ways to either shoot themselves in the foot or stab us in the back.
That .00000000000001% in extra black votes is in the bag now!!!!
This isn’t the first time he’s joined the Rats on this.
GOP harakiri alert!
Those days are long over. The SCOTUS was (accidentally, it appears, on the basis of today's bizarre decisions) correct, and Republicans should let it die the quiet death it deserves.
You show me ANY Black person in this country who is
-18 or older
-Registered in their state and district
-Not a felon
who has EVER been denied their right to vote. Absolutely NO ONE involved in the elections process would deny a black person his right to vote. For one thing with Obama and Eric Holder in there you’d reap the whirlwind coming down on your head. For another this isn’t 1962.
If we roll over on this we’re sure to get the black vote.
Has Sensenbrenner taken leave of his senses?
You’re absolutely right.
That R next to his name means retard.
“trying to be the Rubio of the House.”
I thought that title was already taken by crybaby bonehead I mean boehner.
We don’t win any wars with these guys. I am through with Republicans...I don’t need this.
Go ahead an flame me... it wont change the fact we are led by absolute morons who leave their spines in the house or senate cloak room and then wuss out on votes.
GOP harakiri alert!
Unfortunately they do not have enough honor the even commit harakiri.
We prefer to be called "little people."
Has Sensenbrenner taken leave of his senses?
Either that or he never had any top begin with.
He must have an appointment to perform a Monica on Obama.
Anything to investigate the 101% voter support in some precincts? Or 100% of the vote going to Obama in over 50 precincts?
Or is that not the kind of racist discrimination we are looking for in elections anymore?
As a member of the newest minority in America, white people deserve an answer.
“...this isnt 1962.”
The New Black Panthers will see that there aren’t any problems. Senselessbrenner needs to BTFO.
Oh yes, by all means, you have to stop those Confederate States from reimposing Jim Crow laws and revitalizing the KKK. 150 years of punishment is not near enough./s
I have come to the conclusion that if anything good is to come out of Versailles on the Potomac, it’ll be right after Hell freezes over and the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup.
I suspect that this is a divide that goes beyond Republican and Democrat. As someone mentioned in jest, “The Voting Rights Act was the sequel to Reconstruction.”
In other words, this may actually be an effort by the northern states to retain political and cultural dominance over the southern states.
As bizarre as that sounds on the surface, there is still a large cultural divide between the North and the South.
The only reason Reconstruction ended was that there was a disputed presidential election, and the South offered its support to a candidate in exchange for the withdrawal of the last Union soldiers stationed in its state capitals.
Were it not for this, Reconstruction might still be in effect, long after race was an issue, solely so that the northern states could “keep the South in its place.”
If that sounds ridiculous, then why did the northern dominated congress keep extending the Voting Rights Act mandates on the South “even though the situation had changed”? That is, continuing to extend the act was based on conditions in the early 1960s.
But the proof of this pudding is in the eating. Constitutionally, congress *can* recreate the Voting Rights Act, but for *ALL* the states, not just the southern states.
Dollars to donuts these northern congressmen would be very strongly opposed to *that* idea. “Not us! Only THEM!”
no, he’s actually a good guy.’but he is terribly, terribly wrong on this.
Yes, Jim. There is still danger of discrimination at the polls. Democrats and their minions are allowed to vote as many times as they want, while Republicans and conservatives can vote only once.
Apparently Wisconsin has some election fraud problems so I’m sure sensenbrenner won’t mind having Wisconsin included in the legislation. Possibly he also wants to include Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and New York. Wait let’s not forget Minnesota.
like; AMNESTY for 20+ million new democrats..
each of which could conceivably vote several times for more Obama money..
You’re right I’m so sick of this kind of crap, I’m seventy years old and first voted in a Republican primary in 1964, I have never missed an election or a primary and have never voted for a democrat, I’ve given money, put up signs, made phone calls, held meetings and knocked on doors and now I have absolutly been betrayed by the Republican party. I gathered signatures for Voter ID from one end of the State to the other, had it pass overwhelmingly only to be held up by the DOJ and now this AH wants to re-instate a law that will again devalue my vote before I ever even have the opportunity to cast a vote at full value or at least near full value. democrat votes count 1.05 Republican votes count .95, I’d like for mine to get to at least .98. Thank God for Senator Ted Cruz and Congressmen Louie Gohmert and Trey Gowdy.
According to the SC ruling there is no wiggle room on what Congress can do. Their ruling was very specific....that’s really why the libs are so POed.
I am through with Republicans...
Me too. They want our votes and money but not our principles. I’m done with the Republican Party.
Sensenbrenner: Collecting phone records abuses Patriot Act(The Author)
not to worry. he can just tweak a few words and everything will be wonderful again.
Sensenbrenner and the Voting Rights Act
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
im going to throw up
Time to leave the stupid party to die in its own vomit.