Civil rights activists held a press conference by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights this morning, calling for a Committee hearing, debate, markup and passing of the Voting Rights Act Amendment (VRAA), HR 3899.
The VRAA is meant to repair the damage wrought by the five Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court in Shelby v. Holder.
No voting rights activist likes the bill. They pretend to like to the bill.
No speaker today dared mention the anti-voting rights provisions in the Voting Rights Act Amendment.
HR 3899, among other provisions, contains language that would protect states' photo voter ID laws, a clause inserted by its chief sponsor Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-White People) who refers to his home state's (Wisconsin) photo voter ID law as "common sense."
Wisconsin's voter ID law was struck down last month by a federal judge who found that up to 300,000 voters lacked voter ID; Latinos and African Americans would are unfairly burdened by the law and prevented from voting, that voter fraud does not exist in Wisconsin and that the law is in violation of the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.
This is Sensenbrenner's conception of a "common sense" law.
Sensenbrenner was caught on camera in February saying, "I hope the president vetoes the bill. If the president vetoes—well, let me rephrase that – if the president vetoes this bill (VRAA), he will lose an awful lot of the African-American support that he has." (Roth, TRMS)
So we have the so-called fix to the VRA protecting state voter obstruction laws that the VRA was originally enacted in 1965 to stop, and the co-author of the bill, Sensenbrenner, who is a demonstrated phony voting rights advocate.
Progressive congressional supporters say they can amend the bill though they are afraid to publically express their opposition to the anti-voting provisions in the bill because this would offend Republicans who would then not allow the bill to be debated, amended or would vote against it, while Republicans continue their work against voting rights.
If this legislative strategy does not appear to make any sense, this is because the strategy is dumb, dumb, dumb.