Politics Magazine

Cornyn - Voting Rights Bill "Discriminates Against Texas"

Posted on the 24 January 2014 by Jobsanger
Cornyn - Voting Rights Bill (The image of John Cornyn on the left was found at the excellent Texas blog called Off the Kuff.)
In 2013, the Supreme Court made a decision that severely impacts of the ability of the federal government to assure that states don't try to illegally suppress minority votes. They nullified the part of the Voting Rights Act that listed the states that needed federal approval before changing any voting laws (states that had a history of trying to exclude minorities from the election process). The court said that list was out of date, and was nullified until Congress could update it.
Well, Congress is now trying to fix the problem and protect the voting rights of minorities (and everyone else). Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) have co-authored an update to the Voting Rights Act. This new bill would require any state with 5 voting rights violations in 15 years to have to get federal pre-clearance before changing any voting laws or regulations. Currently that would apply to four states (Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi), but other states could be added to the list later if they try to suppress votes with unfair laws.
It was hoped that the new bill would get bi-partisan support in Congress (since one of the bill's authors is a Republican). But those hopes are being dimmed, and one of those leading the fight to kill the bill is Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). Cornyn claims the bill "discriminates against Texas", and that the state should be lauded for the "tremendous leaps and bounds" that Texas has made in assuring voting rights.
His statement (and position) is ludicrous. He is just trying to justify or deflect attention away from the new efforts in Texas to suppress minority votes (such as Voter ID and the redrawing of districts to favor the GOP). The truth is that protecting voter rights doesn't discriminate against Texas or any other state. It just keeps those states from backsliding into their old habits -- and recent efforts by the GOP in Texas show that is a distinct possibility.
But Cornyn is not now, and never has been, concerned about protecting the right of all citizens to vote. He's running for re-election this year, and he knows his chances (and those of other Republicans) are much better if minority voting is suppressed.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog