Despite Joe Manchin's latest pitch, voting rights bills remain imperiled in Congress. Here are the differences among them
May 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, issued a letter Monday, urging Congress to find a bipartisan path forward to reauthorize the decades-old Voting Rights Act. But compromise might not be in the cards.
(CNN)West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, issued a letter this week urging Congress to find a bipartisan path forward to reauthorize the decades-old Voting Rights Act. The missive to congressional leaders in the House and Senate seeks to break through the impasse on voting rights legislation as Republican-led states around the country erect new barriers to the ballot box.
The Voting Rights Act's requirements -- that nine states and parts of others with a history of racial discrimination win federal approval, or "pre-clearance" before changing their election procedures -- were nullified by the Supreme Court in its 2013 Shelby County v Holder decision.
A recent version of the new John Lewis Act would extend pre-clearance to states that have incurred multiple voting rights violations in the last 25 years -- an attempt to get around the Supreme Court majority's concern in Shelby that states were being punished for decades-old misdeeds, rather than current discriminatory practices.
Although a version of the Voting Rights Act rewrite passed the House in an earlier Congress, the John Lewis Act is not actually a bill right now.
And Manchin's insistence that Congress advance a new version of the Voting Rights Act may get nowhere unless he's willing to budge on the filibuster.
After all, Murkowski was the only Republican in the Senate to co-sponsor the Voting Rights Act rewrite in the last Congress