Skip to content

Blumenthal to Hold Hearing on Restoring the Voting Rights Act

Tomorrow, Blumenthal will chair a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee on legal protections against discriminatory voting restrictions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, will convene a hearing on Tuesday, September 22, 2021 at 10:00 AM titled “Restoring the Voting Rights Act: Combating Discriminatory Abuses.”

“After the Roberts Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, states swooped in to enact a torrent of new voting restrictions,” Blumenthal said. “Tomorrow’s hearing will include testimony on legislative efforts to protect against restrictive practices that we have seen used over and over again to disenfranchise and minimize the voting power of communities of color.”

For nearly five decades, the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance coverage formula provision required certain states with a history of discriminatory voting practices to obtain approval from the federal government before implementing any voting rules changes. The Supreme Court struck that formula in Shelby County, but in so doing it left open a path for other preclearance, including what is known as practice-based coverages. Practice-based coverage would require federal preclearance in jurisdictions that have adopted voting practices that are known to correlate with racial or language-based discrimination where those jurisdictions that have a significant racial or language minority citizen voting age population. Tomorrow’s hearing will examine the kinds of discriminatory voting restrictions that are actively being implemented by states and how federal law can protect against them.

The hearing will include testimony from:

  • Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF);
  • Franita Tolson, Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at University of Southern California Gould School of Law;
  • John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC).
  • Maureen Riordan, Litigation Counsel at the Public Interest Legal Foundation; and
  • Hans von Spakovsky, Manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.