HR 4 – John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Aimed at GOP

Faye Higbee
HR 4

Democrats introduced an updated John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – otherwise known as HR 4. They previously voted for it in the House, but it did not pass the Senate. Now they are attempting to get an updated version through. But it’s not what it says it is, and in effect, attempts to block the Supreme Court from ruling on any voting rights bills again.

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The bill would require that ANY changes in redistricting, voting laws by states, any policy decisions be reviewed by the Justice Department before implementation: a) basically once again attempting to federalizing elections, and b) drastically slowing any changes for states. Their hope is to ”shame” Republicans into passing HR 1/S 1 the “For the People Act.”

HR 4

The left wing publication NY Magazine wrote:

This bill would not deal systematically with many of the problems addressed in S. 1, such as campaign-finance abuses, partisan gerrymandering, or restrictions on voter registration and voting by mail. It would, however, in the covered jurisdictions, stop any changes in law and policy governing voting and elections (including redistricting maps) until they can be reviewed for possible dilution of minority voting opportunities or representation. As I noted earlier this year, it would at a minimum put an amber light on the implementation of many of the voter-suppression laws being passed by Republican state legislatures in the former Confederacy:

The John Lewis Act would simply stop future laws and procedural changes from taking effect without a Justice Department preclearance. It’s hard to know exactly which laws and procedural changes would and would not pass muster, and it’s worth considering that a future Republican administration might very well reverse pro-voting-rights guidance set down by the Biden administration.

But without question, the John Lewis Act would slow down, and might well inhibit, voter-suppression activity.

Ed Kilgore at NY Mag

First, HR 4 would greatly diminish the ability of states to redistrict areas based on the census. Why does that matter? For example, California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia each lost a seat in the 2020 census, and Texas gained two. Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon each gained one seat. Redistricting comes in when the lines are drawn based on which party controls an area (gerrymandering). Every party blames the other party when that occurs, and right now with the corruption in the DOJ, having them ‘review’ every decision first could prove disastrous.

Arguably the most important factor in the 2022 midterm elections will be congressional redistricting. Where will each party gain power? Lose power? And will the new districts even be drawn in time for next year’s primaries? Right now, though, the redistricting process is behind schedule due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Census Bureau has now released the block-level data necessary for redistricting, which is expected to set off a redistricting scramble. Many states face early constitutional or statutory deadlines to finalize their new maps — including some that are impossibly early, inspiring certain states to seek legal extensions in court. 

Five thirty eight project

Republicans are not the party of ”voter suppression” by the way. But of course, if you’ve never opened a real history book you might not know that. Republicans pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Democrats stood vehemently opposed to it. The bill would never have passed without Republican Senator Everett Dirksen. But RINOs and Democrats want to keep their power, so be sure to contact your Reps and Senators and voice our opinion on HR 4.


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