Vermont U.S. Senator Leahy to Seek Answers to Voting Rights

Jul 2, 2013

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy

Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy says he will call hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee to see if legislation can be written to protect minority voting rights that many feel were threatened after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Voting Rights Act.

Leahy, a Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, says he has consulted constitutional scholars and will encourage both Republicans and Democrats to call witnesses.

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that effectively halted enforcement of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which has protected minority voting rights by requiring federal approval for changes to state and local voting procedures in some states and smaller jurisdictions.

Leahy says he doesn't know what the solution is. He calls the Supreme Court decision "entirely new ground."

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