House Democrats introduce bill restoring voting provision after SCOTUS ruling

Democratic Reps. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Final countdown: Senate inches toward last infrastructure vote Arizona state senator arrested on charges of sexual conduct with a minor House Democrats introduce bill restoring voting provision after SCOTUS ruling MORE (Ariz.) and Mondaire JonesMondaire JonesRep. Bush drives calls for White House action on eviction moratorium lapse House Democrats introduce bill restoring voting provision after SCOTUS ruling Heated argument erupts after Rep. Mondaire Jones calls GOP objections to DC statehood 'racist trash' MORE (N.Y.) introduced a bill restoring a provision of the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court upheld two voting restrictions in Arizona this week.

The bill — dubbed the Inclusive Elections Act of 2021 — aims to restore Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bars states from adopting election laws that disproportionately impact minorities.

In a 6-3 ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld an Arizona policy that requires provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct to be discarded. The second measure outlaws “ballot harvesting,” or having third-parties deliver ballots for others.

ADVERTISEMENT

Justice Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Biden rips 'extreme' new Texas abortion law Six-week abortion ban goes into effect in Texas MORE wrote for the majority that a lower court erred when it ruled that the restrictions violated Section 2.

The ruling came eight years after Shelby County v. Holder, in which the court eliminate the government’s preclearance authority under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Democrats have been pushing to bolster the Voting Rights Act amid efforts from GOP-led states to introduce restrictive voting measures after the 2020 presidential election.

When considering challenges to election laws, courts would have to consider whether the “challenged standard, practice, or procedure imposes a disparate burden on members of a class of citizens,” according to the bill’s text.

A court also has to consider whether a “disparate burden is in part caused by or related to social and historical conditions that  produce or produced discrimination against members of the protected class.”

Gallego, who represents Arizona’s 7th District, said in a statement “the right of every American to have equal access to the ballot – regardless of their race or political orientation – is critical to a functioning democracy.”

"The Supreme Court trampled on that right [Thursday] by upholding two Arizona laws that make it harder to vote for Latino, Black, and Native American communities in particular,” Gallego said. I’m proud to introduce this bill with Congressman Jones to protect voters of color from discrimination and help restore the foundation of our democracy.”