Lawmakers To Unveil Bipartisan Bill To Fix Voting Rights Act

January 16, 2014 12:52 p.m.

Members of Congress will introduce bipartisan legislation on Thursday to patch the Voting Rights Act, according to a top Senate Democratic aide.

The sponsors will be Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), a senior Judiciary member and former chairman of the panel. They’re expected to release the bill in the afternoon.

The move comes after months of negotiations on how to resurrect a key portion of the landmark law that the Supreme Court struck down last summer, which requires certain states and localities with a history of racial discrimination to receive federal pre-approval before making any changes to their voting laws.

The prospects of success for the bill are highly uncertain. Sensenbrenner, who has led efforts to renew the law in the past, is among very few Republicans who have demonstrated any interest in patching up the “preclearance” formula after the Supreme Court invalidated it.

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