Senate Democrats revive push for long-shot voting rights legislation

Democrats are making a fresh push for voting rights legislation in the Senate, and if the filibuster guarantees it will go nowhere there’s a fair chance that the arcane legislative rule will be the casualty of this critical fight for democracy.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont introduced the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act on Tuesday, calling the bill a “bedrock voting rights law.” The Judiciary Committee convened a hearing on the legislation Wednesday afternoon.

The House passed a version of the bill in August, but the Senate waited to take up the legislation. So far no Republicans have indicated they are willing to support the VRAA, which means it will likely fall short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

Leahy introduced the legislation with Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and 45 other Democrats who want to restore the landmark Voting Rights Act and stop the spreading scourge of voter suppression.

The legislation – the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – is named for an icon of the Civil Rights movement, the late Congressman John Lewis, and reflects an update to legislation introduced in the last Congress.

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