Election law maven Rick Hasen writes:
I have now had a chance to review the text the Voting Rights Amendments Act of 2014 introduced today by Representatives Sensenbrenner and Conyers (with parallel legislation being introduced by Senator Leahy in the Senate). I believe parts of the VRAA are likely constitutional (including the new coverage formula), parts are likely unconstitutional (new bail in), and most of it is sensible policy. But I am very pessimistic about the legislation passing out of the House. Ironically, I think if this were the bill introduced in 2006 to amend the VRA, it would not only have passed both Houses of Congress and become law, the Supreme Court would have been very likely to uphold the measure as constitutional despite its constitutional problems. I’ll address each point in turn. . . .
While I have read the bill, I haven’t yet analyzed it as closely as Hasen has. But I am cautiously pleased by it.