The United States House of Representatives passed a legislation on Tuesday that would assist in protecting the right to vote as states dominated by Republican lawmakers has been on a streak of restricting electoral procedures.
The newly approved legislation is also called the John Lewis bill. It has been named after the former Georgia lawmaker and civil rights leader, who died last year.
The bill, which got cleared in the lower legislative chamber of the United States, will put power in the hands of the federal government and racial minorities to resist any election rule that could be considered discriminatory in nature, according to reports from CNN.
The Voting Rights Act, which was put in force in the United States in 1965, have the country’s Department of Justice a crucial power to restrict jurisdictions that had a history of voter discrimination from changing their voting rules. The aspect was deemed outdated by the United States Supreme Court in 2013 in the Shelby County v. Holder case, according to reports from CNN.
The legislation will now travel to the United States Senate, where it is likely to face a tough challenge from the members of the Republican party. The Senate is currently thinly divided between the two parties, which means that even one vote that crosses party lines can determine the future of the bill.
According to reports from CNN, Senator Lisa Murkowski, a lawmaker from Alaska, is the only Republican party member who is expected to support the John Lewis bill.
Senate minority leader and prominent lawmaker from the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell, labelled the bill “unnecessary” in June this year saying that it will “grant to the Justice Department almost total ability to determine the voting systems of every state in America.”
He also defended his stance by saying that it is “already against the law to discriminate in voting on the basis of race already”, according to CNN.