Analysis: Lawmakers Disagree On Relevancy Of Voting Rights Act | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Analysis: Lawmakers Disagree On Relevancy Of Voting Rights Act

Play associated audio

In the wake of the Supreme Court Ruling striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Congress will consider whether to take on the task of revising the bill. While the House is set to hold a hearing on the issue this month, one lawmaker from Virginia says he doesn't know whether Congress will ultimately review it. Meanwhile, a lawmaker from Maryland says she doesn't think the law should have been struck down in the first place. David Hawkings, writer of the [Hawkings Here]( http://blogs.rollcall.com/hawkings/) column for Roll Call, talks about some of the details.

Rep. Donna Edwards said she believed the Voting Rights Act is still relevant, even if the data supporting it was from the 1960s. On why lawmakers disagree on the issue of outdated evidence here?

"The idea here is that the Voting Rights Act required states with patterns of racial discrimination in their voting to get pre-permission -- to get advanced permission from the federal government before changing any of their voting rules... And so how did they prove there'd been a pattern of racial discrimination? They used data from 1972 because essentially Congress for the last couple of times they had been reauthorizing this act, which had been around since the 1960s, haven't been able to agree on a different formula. And the Supreme Court ruled that using data from that long ago was unfair to several states where things have changed."

Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said the House would hold a hearing on Voting Rights this month. On what we can expect to come out of that hearing:

"I think what you'll see is that with both sides — Republicans and Democrats — will propose they would do it differently. And that hearing will... just be a standoff that will likely continue."

On Goodlatte speaking about immigration reform:

"Goodlatte is resistant to a path toward citizenship. That's the key, essentially in a word, the Republicans in the House want border security first and guaranteed, before they even talk about a path to citizenship."

Listen to the full analysis here.

NPR

WWI Diaries Of Poet Siegfried Sassoon Go Public For First Time

Nearly a dozen notebooks and journals by the author, who fought in the British Army during the war, are being released to coincide with the centenary of the start of the conflict.
NPR

Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget

A Canadian scholar was unimpressed with the cookbooks available for people on food stamps in the U.S. So she decided to come up with her own set of tips and recipes for eating well on $4 a day.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Defense Zeroes In On Star Witness' Credibility

Defense attorney William Burck is focusing on inconsistencies in what Jonnie Williams told investigators as well as his stock dealings.
NPR

Simmering Online Debate Shows Emoji Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

A report from a local Philadelphia TV station is re-igniting a debate and getting people all up in arms. (Or should we say, up in hands?)

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.