House Passes John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021

The House passed H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, on Tuesday in a 219-212 vote. H.R. 4 bears the name of the late Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon and a fearless advocate for voting rights, and aims, in part, to codify new criteria for determining preclearance requirements.
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Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, jurisdictions with a documented history of discrimination in voting had to appeal to the Department of Justice before changing their election rules. In 2013, the Supreme Court essentially gutted Section 5 in Shelby County v. Holder. Supporters of H.R. 4 insist that the new preclearance requirements could withstand a Supreme Court challenge.

The bill received no Republican votes in the House and will likely face fierce Republican pushback in an evenly divided Senate.

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