Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA). The VRAA was introduced early this year by a bipartisan group of lawmakers and is intended to repair some of the damage to the Voting Rights Act caused by the Supreme Court’s 2013 opinion in Shelby County v. Holder.
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and Freedom Summer—a time marked by bloodshed over the right to vote. Forty-nine years after that historic summer, the Roberts court in Shelby County invalidated a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.
This spring, ACS published “The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014: A Constitutional Response to Shelby County,” an Issue Brief by five constitutional scholars analyzing the major elements of the VRAA, which is aimed at remedying some of the damage inflicted by the Shelby County decision.
Racial discrimination in elections is alive and well. From stringent voter ID laws to the weakening of the Voting Rights Act by the Roberts court, the right to vote is being undermined and the disenfranchisement of the marginalized is reaching significant proportions.
So what can be done? Scholars William Yeomans, Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Gabriel J. Chin, Samuel Bagenstos, and Gilda R. Daniels examine various aspects of the legislation, and explain why the bill is well within congressional power to enact.
Read the issue brief here.