Earlier today, J. Christian Adams reported comments made by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) regarding the Voting Rights Act. Sharing the podium with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, Sensenbrenner told a Washington audience Monday that he wants to “fix” the part of the law that the Supreme Court recently struck down.
Sensenbrenner said he wants to fix the law so that it is immune to court challenges.
“The first thing we have to do is take the monkey wrench that the court threw in it, out of the Voting Rights Act, and then use that monkey wrench to be able to fix it so that it is alive, well, constitutional and impervious to another challenge that will be filed by the usual suspects.”
Sensenbrenner has not said publicly which section of the law he seeks to “fix” — Section 3 or Section 4. The latter would put many state election laws back under federal receivership, jeopardizing measures like Texas’ popular voter ID law. Sensenbrenner has also not said publicly who he believes the “usual suspects” are. Sensenbrenner has also not identified which states he believes are so racist that they warrant continued federal supervision with his “fix.”
He has publicly said, on August 22, that he opposes Attorney General Eric Holder’s lawsuit against Texas’ voter ID law under the Voting Rights Act’s Section 2, and that he wants Holder to wait until the law is “fixed.”
“I spoke with Attorney General Holder today and requested that he withdraw his Section 2 lawsuit until there can be a legislative fix of the Voting Rights Act. The lawsuit would make it much more difficult to pass a bipartisan fix to restore the heart of the VRA that the Supreme Court struck down earlier this year.”
That could be read as Sensenbrenner not opposing Holder’s lawsuit per se, but opposing it only until Congress can “fix” the VRA.
But what shape would that “fix” take? One clue may be found in who influences Rep. Sensenbrenner on the Voting Rights Act.