Today at 12:30 p.m. voting rights and civil rights advocates will hold a rally on Capitol Hill urging the House of Representatives to take up a bipartisan bill to update and modernize the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. The rally will take place right after a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on ongoing racial discrimination in voting and the need for the new legislation.
The hearing and rally are being held on the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision, which invalidated a key provision of the VRA and took away one of our most effective tools for addressing voting discrimination. On January 16, Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, R. Wisc., John Conyers, D. Mich., Steve Chabot, R. Ohio, John Lewis, D. Ga., Spencer Bachus, R. Ala., Bobby Scott, D. Va., and Sheila Jackson Lee, D. Texas., introduced the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA), a modern, flexible, and forward-looking set of protections that work together to ensure an effective response to racial discrimination in voting in every part of the country. Senator Patrick Leahy, D. Vt. Introduced the VRAA in the Senate.
While the Senate has begun work on the VRAA, the House has yet to schedule a hearing on the bill or a markup of the bill in the House Judiciary Committee.
If you’re in Washington, D.C. today, come to the hearing in Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building and then attend the rally at 12:30 p.m. on the House side of the U.S. Capitol Grounds near the House Triangle. In the case of rain, the rally will be held in Room 215 of the House Visitor Center).