Politics Congressional Democrats take a machete to the Supreme Court's election jurisprudence in new voting rights bill
Protesters to mark anniversary of March on Washington with nationwide marches for voting rights
For March On for Voting Rights, civil rights leaders Martin Luther King III, Arndrea Waters King and Reverend Al Sharpton will lead marches Aug. 28.As part of March On for Voting Rights, civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King III, Arndrea Waters King and the Rev. Al Sharpton, will lead marches in Washington, Houston, Miami, Phoenix and more than 40 other cities. An estimated 50,000 people are expected to attend the march in the district, according to local permits.
- Congressional Democrats are taking on the Supreme Court with a new voting rights bill.
- A bill named for John Lewis would undo two big SCOTUS decisions undermining the Voting Rights Act.
- The bill is carefully tailored with a razor-sharp focus on the judiciary.
Congressional Democrats are taking a laser-focused aim at the Supreme Court in their latest major voting rights package.
The Housethe bipartisan infrastructure bill, the resolution for Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget package, , a bill to refortify and restore the key civil rights law that bans racial discrimination in voting and redistricting.
Texas GOP advances voting bill after Democrats’ holdout ends
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Republicans advanced new voting restrictions Thursday night after months of protests by Democrats, who after returning from a 38-day walkout are now all but out of ways to stop a bill that includes a ban on drive-thru voting and empowering poll watchers. The nearly 50-page bill passed the Texas House on a 79-37 mostly party-line vote, moving fast a week after Democrats ended their holdout. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott says he will sign the measure that is on track to reach his desk by early September, if not sooner. In what is now the GOP’s third try at passing the bill since May, the atmosphere was charged.
The Supreme Court significantly undermined the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in two landmark cases in 2013 and 2021. Those rulings came as federal courts are increasinglyto win emergency election-related petitions .
Unlike, Democrats' flagship voting rights, campaign finance, and ethics reform bill which has dominated most of the voting rights focus on Capitol Hill in 2021, the law named for the late congressman John Lewis is carefully tailored to take on the judiciary.
And unlike past efforts to restore the Voting Rights Act, this legislation will receive a vote in the narrowly Democratic-controlled US Senate after likely passage in the House, but it faces tough odds getting through the upper chamber.
U.S. voting rights events reflect multiracial reform agenda
A decades-old fight to expand and protect voting rights will intensify this weekend, when multiracial coalitions of civil, human and labor rights leaders hold rallies in Washington and across the nation to urge passage of federal voter protections eroded since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It's a united front that rights advocates say hasn’t been seen in two generations, back when the landmark federal legislation removed barriers keeping voters of color from easily accessing the ballot box.
So far just one Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has publicly come out,
Butand the 2022 midterms on the horizon, congressional Democrats are seizing on the moment to revitalize the "crown jewel" of the civil rights movement.
Not so fast, Justice Alito.
, which is permanent, prohibits policies that "deny or abridge" the right to vote based on race or status in a language minority group, with Congress construing it to cover both intentional discrimination and discriminatory outcomes.
Man Loses Eye After Machete Attack in Front of His Family
The incident allegedly occurred after the father argued with two suspects about whether they were allowed in the area.Fox 11 in Los Angeles reported that an argument broke out between the father and two homeless people at Dan Blocker Beach on Sunday after the man's family were told they were not allowed to be in the area.
Section 2 has been an essential tool for the Justice Department and civil rights groups to challenge discriminatory voting laws. But the Supreme Court dealt a blow to Section 2
The, authored by Justice Thomas Alito, upheld two Arizona voting rules under Section 2 - and, in the process, " considerations that do not derive from the text of the law and could make it significantly harder for plaintiffs to prove if a policy is racially discriminatory.
The John Lewis bill responds by adding new considerations for courts that could make it easier for plaintiffs to prove Section 2 violations and explicitly ruling out the consideration of the Supreme Court's five "guideposts" in Section 2 lawsuits.
Coloring in the lines.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2019, shifting more of the action in federal lawsuits to racial gerrymandering under the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits districts that dilute minority votes through gerrymandering practices.
EXPLAINER: How a new GOP law in Texas makes voting harder
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The sweeping changes to Texas' election code that GOP Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Tuesday make it harder — sometimes even legally riskier — to cast a ballot in the state, which already has some of the nation's most restrictive voting laws. Democrats gridlocked the state Capitol for 38 consecutive days after more than 50 fled to Washington, D.C., in July to deny Republicans a quorum, which is required to conduct the state's business. Enough of them returned about three weeks ago to end the impasse, and GOP leaders made quick work of pushing the bill through both chambers. Abbott immediately said he would sign it, which happened Tuesday.
The John Lewis bill enshrines judicial precedent and legislative history to strengthen efforts to draw majority-minority districts under the parameters of the Voting Rights Act that better enable racial minorities to elect candidates of their choice.
The bill codifies the three-part test in the Supreme Court case, which stipulates that a majority-minority district must be created if minority voters can be drawn into a compact district, the area has racially polarized voting patterns, and a minority group votes in a bloc to elect candidates of their choice.
It further establishes that "coalition districts," where members of multiple racial minority groups together make up a majority (like Black and Latino voters, for example), should satisfy the conditions for a VRA-protected district.
Interestingly,, the law also echoes (and doesn't try to reverse) Justice Anthony Kennedy's plurality opinion in that districts must have over 50% minority population and cannot include "crossover" voters who are part of the racial majority but vote with the minority to be VRA-protected.
Ask permission, not forgiveness.
The biggest aim of the bill is to restore the preclearance regime under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act that for decadeswith histories of racial discrimination to clear all new voting and redistricting changes with the federal government.
Democrats have a high-risk, high-reward plan to save Roe v. Wade
The Women’s Health Protection Act, explained.Last week, the Supreme Court permitted a Texas law that effectively bans abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy — before many people are even aware they are pregnant — to take effect. Meanwhile, the Court is expected to decide a case by June 2022, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which it could use to explicitly overrule Roe v. Wade.
In 2013, however, the Supreme Court majority struck down the previous formula used to determine who needed to seek preclearance, rendering Section 5 unenforceable.
"By any measure, the preclearance regime was enormously effective,". "While it was in place, the Justice Department blocked thousands of discriminatory voting changes."
Chief Justice John Roberts'argued that the formula, which covered states with histories of using poll taxes and literacy tests and/or had turnout and registration rates below a certain level in the 1970s, was outdated and violated the principle of equal sovereignty by unfairly treating states differently.
Without preclearance in the eight years since, Garland wrote, "the Justice Department has been unable to stop discriminatory practices before they occur" and has been "left with costly, time-consuming tools that have many of the shortcomings that plagued federal law prior to 1965."
Under the Lewis bill, any state or municipality that violates the 14th Amendment, the 15th Amendment, or the Voting Rights Act (as determined by a court or admitted to by a jurisdiction in a settlement) a certain number of times in 25 years would be required to seek permission from the Justice Department or a federal court to make new voting changes.
It's nearly impossible to develop a perfect metric of voting discrimination, and the outcomes of election lawsuits are no exception.
Texas abortion law could hurt Republicans in 2022 midterm elections, experts say
Many leading Republicans haven't given a full-throated defense of Texas' new abortion law, which experts say could hurt the GOP in the 2022 midterms.The violence that erupted in Kabul gave GOP officials an opening to attack the Democratic president, whose approach to the withdrawal was later met with disapproval in national polls. It quickly became political campaign fodder for Republicans who need a net gain of only five seats in the House and one in the Senate to recapture total control of Congress in next year's midterm elections.
Asthe jurisdictions that end up covered "might just be home to more litigious plaintiffs, more incompetent defendants, or more receptive courts."
But the new bill's "rolling" coverage formula that adapts with current times, instead of past discrimination, is more likely (while not guaranteed) to withstand federal court scrutiny.
The bill also would make every state seek preclearance for a select set of voting changes -.
Show your work.
The law adds a new section to the VRA requiring election officials to give ample public notice for election changes like new voting rules, polling place changes, and electoral district boundaries.
The bill also takes aim at two increasingly common trends at the Supreme Court that: justices issuing consequential emergency rulings on election cases without explaining their reasoning, and the court rejecting emergency petitions solely based on their proximity to the election to avoid confusing voters,
In addition to its regular load of cases, the Supreme Court takes up emergency applications on everything from death penalty cases to rule changes for upcoming elections (trying to enjoin a voter ID law from being in effect during the election or extending deadlines for voters to return mail ballots, for example).
Courts generally avoiding granting last-minute changes to voting rules may seem like a worthy goal., argue that in practice, courts' overreliance on the Purcell principle has led to misguided decisions that end up confusing and even disenfranchising voters.
The bill adds new requirements for justices to explain their reasoning in emergency cases and undercuts Purcell by instructing courts to give "substantial weight" to the concerns of affected voters and not to consider proximity to the election "a burden to the public interest" when weighing emergency election petitions within a certain window of time.
EXPLAINER: How Navalny election tool challenges the Kremlin .
MOSCOW (AP) — Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his embattled allies are not running in the Sept. 19 parliamentary election, but they still hope to challenge the ruling United Russia party with their strategy known as Smart Voting. Hardly any Kremlin critics are allowed to run in the election to the parliament, or State Duma. Control of that body is seen as a key part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cement his hold on power heading into the next presidential balloting, scheduled for 2024. Putin already has been running Russia since 2000.