A key piece of congressional Democrats’ voting rights push faces not only a near-impossible odds of becoming law, but also a daunting court battle in front of a conservative judiciary if it does.
The legislation, known as the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” is now a focus of the House and is expected to be part of the voting rights package negotiated in the Senate to win over West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s support. The bill would restore a provision of the Voting Rights Act meant to address racial discrimination that was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013. Doing so has long been a goal of lawmakers, and one that seemed only remotely possible after Democrats obtained narrow control of Congress while winning the White House.
But Democrats have had to move deliberately in how they’ve advanced that aspect of their voting rights push, in the hopes of protecting it from the kinds of Supreme Court cases that have undermined the Voting Rights Act, most recently this summer.
“The bill has to pass constitutional muster,” a House Democratic staffer involved in the process told CNN.