GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner pledges to fix Voting Rights Act in 2013

August 26, 2013

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) said Monday that he will attempt to replace, by the end of the year, the portion of the Voting Rights Act that was struck down by the Supreme Court.

Sensenbrenner's comments came Monday at an event hosted by the Republican National Committee, commemorating the March on Washington.

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 said.

Taking the stage after Sensenbrenner, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said, “I think Jim just made some news."

Few Republicans have expressed a desire to fix the VRA.

The Supreme Court struck down the formula that determined which jurisdictions and states had a history of discrimination and were required to gain prior approval from the Justice Department for any electoral changes.

Without the formula, such prior approval -- also known as preclearance -- was essentially rendered inoperable.

Following the decision, GOP state legislatures in Texas and North Carolina have pushed forward with new Voter ID laws that would otherwise have been subject to preclearance. The Justice Department is suing Texas over its law.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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