Civil rights groups urge Congress to renew Voting Rights Act after House vote delayed

[JURIST] Civil rights groups called Monday for the renewal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) [text; DOJ backgrounder] before Congress takes its Fourth of July recess. At a news conference in Atlanta, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website], the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) [advocacy website] and the Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta singled out two Republican lawmakers [ACLU press release], accusing them of holding up the legislation that would renew the VRA's provisions [HR 9 summary; PDF text]. The bill, known as the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, was scheduled for a vote in the House on June 20 but was held up [JURIST report].

The two lawmakers, Reps. Lynn Westmoreland and Charlie Norwood [official websites] object to provisions in Section 5 of the VRA that require federal oversight for nine Southern states, and they propose amendments they say modernize the bill [Norwood press release]. The ACLU, however, describes the proposed changes as a "poison pill" [ACLU letter]. AP has more.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.