#Voting Rights: Today during a breakfast, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), said the following as reported by Jen Bendery of the Huffington Post:
“There are still very, very strong protections in the Voting Rights Act in the area that the Supreme Court ruled on, which is the question of whether or not certain states, there were, I think 11 states, all Southern states, that were required by law to seek pre-clearance of any changes in where polling places are located and other matters like that.”
Of course, the idea that congressional Republicans are not going to fix what the Supreme Court broke in 2013 should be surprising to absolutely no one.
A key centerpiece of GOP strategy since President Obama was elected in 2008 has been making it more difficult to vote and creating more obstacles to vote. Why would Rep. Goodlatte and House Republicans get in the way of that?
Further, the only Republican member who has been on the side of the Democrats to fix the Voting Rights Act, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (D-WI), hasn’t pushed hard in favor of the fix. Without a political consequence placed on House Republicans for not fixing #VRA, nothing will change.
“I am deeply troubled to learn that Representative Bob Goodlatte, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, does not think it is necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act (VRA). We began this Congress very hopeful to build upon the bipartisan work of Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner and Jim Clyburn. If this is indeed the position of the entire Republican Conference, then they have clearly drawn a line in the sand—one in which they are on the wrong side of,” said Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC).
“The protections of the Voting Rights Act must be restored. The weakening of VRA left millions of Americans vulnerable to discriminatory state laws… the CBC is determined to restore Section 5 protections and will work tirelessly to mobilize communities across the country to do just that,” Butterfield added.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if the President threatened to veto all upcoming spending bills unless a VRA fix was included. Currently the most powerful leverage Democrats have is at the White House.