Voting Rights Act renewal legislation introduced in Congress Jamie Sterling at 8:03 AM ET
[JURIST] Members of the US House and Senate on Tuesday introduced bipartisan legislation [press release] to renew the Voting Rights Act of 1965 [text, US DOJ backgrounder], which prohibits voter discrimination based on race or color. Although most of the act is permanent, three sections, including a requirement that states or counties with a history of discrimination secure Justice Department or court approval before changing voting procedures, are set to expire in 2007. A group of congressmen, led by House Judiciary Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) [official website], introduced the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, HR 9, which will extend the Voting Rights Act for another 25 years. The House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on the proposed legislation later this week. An identical version of the bill was also introduced in the Senate on Tuesday.
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