Just when you thought all hope was lost on Sen. Manchin (D-WTF), he comes up with a proposal that (1) might actually work and (2) might actually clear the Senate: Don’t just reinstate Section 5 for the Southern states. Reinstate it nationwide.
Most congressional Democrats have rallied behind a bill, known as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, that would restore preclearance in a handful of states, while simultaneously making it easier to impose preclearance on new states and local governments that attempt to disenfranchise racial minorities.
But Manchin suggested on Wednesday that Congress should pass a much bolder attempt to roll back Shelby County. In an interview with ABC News, Manchin proposed making the John Lewis Act apply “to all 50 states and territories.” Thus, all states, not just the handful of states with the worst record on race, would be required to submit any new voting rules to federal review in order to make sure that the new rule will not target voters of color.
Perfect. This gets around the right-wing SCOTUS’s ridiculous blockade of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, and it prevents future cases of once-moderate states such as Wisconsin making hard-right turns with their voting
What I love about this is that, critically, it is not a compromise. It is an expansion of a good thing into an even better thing. It’s like when President Thomas Jefferson wanted to buy New Orleans from France, and in return he was offered the entire Louisiana Purchase.
IF we can get Senator Sinema on board with this proposal, and IF these two would agree to suspend the rules of debate this one time and allow it to go through on a simple majority vote, we just might get the greatest expansion of voting rights in nearly sixty years. Keep your fingers crossed!