07.10.13

Leahy Announces July 17 Hearing On The Voting Rights Act

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, July 10, 2013) –The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week entitled “From Selma to Shelby County: Working Together to Restore the Protections of the Voting Rights Act,” Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday. 

The hearing will review the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision last month in Shelby County v. Holder, in which the Court struck down the coverage formula under the law.  Leahy announced Wednesday that Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights icon, will testify at the hearing.  Lewis famously participated in leading peaceful marchers petitioning for voting rights across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965, and was beaten during the event.  The day is now known as “Bloody Sunday,” and it remains an important moment in the civil rights movement.  President Obama honored Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his lifelong commitment to the cause of civil rights. 

Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) will also testify at next week’s hearing.  Sensenbrenner served as House Judiciary Committee chairman in 2006 when Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act, including the coverage formula and Section 5.  Congress held approximately 20 hearings leading up to the 2006 reauthorization.  Sensenbrenner was instrumental in building that extensive record and steering the legislation to passage in the House, where it passed 390-33.  The Senate voted 98-0 in favor of the reauthorization, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush.

Leahy said, “The Voting Rights Act has been a central pillar of the civil rights laws that have helped bring America’s ideals closer to reality for all Americans.  Congress reauthorized this law with overwhelming bipartisan support, and we again must work together to ensure that no Americans are discriminated against when exercising their fundamental right to vote.  I look forward to hearing next week from Congressman Lewis and Congressman Sensenbrenner, two lawmakers who were instrumental in the 2006 reauthorization and who I hope to work closely with again this year.”

The hearing will be held on Wednesday, July 17, at 2 p.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  Member statements, witness testimony, and a live webcast will be available online on July 17.  Additional witnesses will be announced in the coming days. 

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NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING

 

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing entitled “From Selma to Shelby County: Working Together to Restore the Protections of the Voting Rights Act” for Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

By order of the Chairman.

Witness List

Hearing before the
Senate Committee on the Judiciary

On

“From Selma to Shelby County: Working Together to Restore the Protections of the Voting Rights Act” 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226
2:00 p.m.

 Panel I

The Honorable John Lewis

United States Representative (D-GA-5)

Washington, DC

 The Honorable James Sensenbrenner

United States Representative (R-WI-5)

Washington, DC

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