Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dismissed the efforts to restore the Voting Rights Act after it was gutted by 2013 Supreme Court decision.
“A lot of this in my view doesn’t have anything to do with anything other than their estimation of what would give them an electoral advantage,” McConnell told USA Today, suggesting the efforts were motivated by Democratic partisanship. “It’s not really about knocking down barriers. There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America.”
The comments came as McConnell is promoting his memoir, “The Long Game,” in which, ironically, he praises the Voting Rights Act and the process by which it was passed. He attended the 1965 signing of the landmark civil rights legislation as a guest of Sen. John Sherman Cooper (R-KY).
“I was overwhelmed to witness such a moment in history, knowing that majorities in both parties voted for the bill,” McConnell writes in the book, according to USA Today.
Nevertheless, McConnell told USA Today that he agreed with the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder. The ruling invalidated the formula in the law that determined which states, based on their history of racist election procedures, were required to get federal approval for any changes in voting regulations. Since the decision, there’s been a slew of restrictive voting laws passed by states previously covered by the provision, many of which are now being challenged in court.
“What was struck down were the provisions that absurdly treated the South differently,” McConnell told USA Today, in reference to the Shelby decision. “They don’t apply anymore. It’s 50 years later.”