by Alex Rogers | CNN
The House passed a bill Tuesday that would give the federal government and racial minorities the power to block or challenge election rules they find discriminatory.
Democrats named the law the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act after civil rights symbol and longtime Georgia congressman who died last year.
“John knew the fight for justice never really ends,” tweeted Democratic Representative Terry Sewell of Alabama. “Each generation must fight and fight again to maintain and advance the progress of the past. Now it is our turn.”
The bill would restore an aspect of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which allowed the Justice Department to block those with a history of voter discrimination from changing their voting rules following the Supreme Court’s ruling of conservative justices in Shelby County v. . The formula used was out of date. Attorney General Merrick Garland recently wrote in The Washington Post that the “pre-expulsion” provision of the Voting Rights Act was “extremely effective” and caused “thousands of discriminatory voting changes that have affected the voting rights of millions of citizens in jurisdictions large and small.” rights were curtailed.”
The bill also responds to the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision this year in Branovich v. Democratic National Committee, which limited the ability of minorities to challenge state laws, which they say are a part of the Voting Rights Act. are discriminatory under a separate section.
The bill faces a sharp climb into the Senate, where the vast majority of Republicans opposed it, calling the law a massive federal encroachment on states’ role in elections. At this point, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is the only Senate Republican expected to support the bill.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in June that the bill is “unnecessary” because “it is already against the law to discriminate in voting based on race,” although the law was blocked by the Justice Department before the law took effect. will allow to. .
McConnell said the bill would “give the Justice Department almost the full ability to determine the voting system of every state in America.”