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Washington Post Editorial Board Urges Passage of VRAA

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In a strongly worded editorial, The Washington Post calls on Congress to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act in the wake of the Supreme Court's devastating decision in Shelby County, Alabama vs. Holder.

"The ruling hobbled a law that for decades has offered meaningful political representation to minority Americans by preventing discriminatory tricks from limiting their access to the franchise. The decision was also an insult to Congress, which in 2006 overwhelmingly determined that the act’s provisions — all of them — remain necessary...excuses can’t justify Congress’s failure to repair the Voting Rights Act before November’s elections. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) should hold hearings and mark up the bill before the next recess. Then Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) should find floor time for it."

Although it's not perfect, the VRAA is a good first step toward restoring the voting rights protections now at risk after Shelby v. Holder.

The VRAA represents a measured, flexible and forward-looking attempt by Congress to update the Voting Rights Act. The VRAA contains several components which respond directly to the Court’s directive that preclearance be linked to recent acts of discrimination while seeking to provide victims of voting discrimination, and the courts that hear their claims, the tools to detect and prevent voting discrimination before it takes effect.

Click here to read NAACP LDF's analysis of the VRAA.