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Slimming Reform Democracy | The Election Law Blog


Ned Foley and Rick Hasen have every written pieces argue that HR 1 – the comprehensive electoral reform bill just passed by the House of Representatives – should be narrowed down significantly. Ned wants a package that combines a gerrymandering party ban (Democratic priority) with a requirement for a nationwide voter ID (supported by Republicans). Additionally, Ned would prefer a nationwide non-violation rule that prohibits states from restricting any existing voting opportunities. For his part, Rick will retain some of HR 1’s voting and redistribution rights, adding a new insurance formula for the Voting Rights Act, but removing parts of HR 1 financially. campaign, re-ownership of former felony, Supreme Court ethics and presidential tax returns.

Ned and Rick’s proposals were both motivated, in part, by a legislative calculation. They thought their idea would be more likely than HR 1 to attract votes from Senate Republicans – maybe even ten such votes would break a vote. Ned wrote that his package could “guarantee the required 60 votes for passing the Senate.” Similarly, Rick argues that blending HR 1 parts with his new VRA coating formula could “guarantee[e] that more than 50 senators – perhaps including some moderate Republicans – support the bill. “

Now, Ned and Rick may be right. It is possible that HR 1 will not win significant Senate Republican support – but their proposals will. However, all the evidence I have seen suggests that their ideas will get the exact number of Senate Republicans’ votes as HR 1: 0. No Senate Republicans have expressed. any interest in (less in favor) of assigning parliamentary reassignment to independent committees: a pivotal blueprint for the compromises of both Ned and Rick. Nor are any Senate Republicans in favor of any new federal measures to protect the franchise (again, a key element of both Ned and Rick’s package). By contrast, the Republicans’ elite stance that was mostly unanimous in defending the prerogatives of the states was a burden of voting when they saw fit. And when Home discuss A new VRA insurance formula in 2019, only one Republican voted in favor. Mitch McConnell then signed the bill for a euthanasia, refusing to take any Senate action on it.

The inability to garner substantial Senate Republican support is uniquely illustrated by National Review’s writer Dan McLaughlin. react to Rick’s column. Asking states for at least two weeks of early voting? Only when “federal law” is also imposed[s] maximum ”when voting early. Turn on the new VRA insurance formula? “[T]His entire front clearance project was a bad idea because it gave so much arbitrary power to the federal executive branch. “Establishment of independent redistribution commission? “This is a no boot; conservatives simply do not trust unelected ‘non-partisan’ entities. “Which Senate Republican (s) would react differently to McLaughlin? Especially when faced with too much pressure to keep the party line and deny a Democratic victory in an issue?” As important as electoral reform?

To be fair, Rick has another legislative reason for his proposal: maintain Senate unity Democratic Party members. In his view, the application of HR 1’s regulations on campaign finance, the ethics of the Supreme Court and the presidential tax return would prevent censors like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema from fleeing . But I don’t know of any evidence to suggest it these The policies “undermine Senate majority support.” The campaign financial reform is be favored by a large part of the public. These include Manchin, who signed into law a public finance program as governor of West Virginia and has co-responded to a Senate bill calling for the relevance of small donors. As for Supreme Court ethics and presidential tax returns, they are subdivisions of HR 1, only two of its nearly four percent. It challenges the belief that any Senate Democrat would equate the entire project for such relatively trivial things.

That said, I agree with Rick that it is almost certain that not every Senate Democrat supports every aspect of HR 1. Fortunately, the Senate’s options are not limited. at adopting the current HR 1 or letting the bill go down. The Senate can also Revision the bill – broadly – to ensure that the concerns of Manchin and Sinema and other Democrats are fully addressed. This important revision process has just begun. Everyone can guess where it will lead. It could be a set of policies similar to those outlined by Ned or Rick. Or it could be any of the thousands of other destinations. The problem is that Senate Democrats themselves are the best judges of what they can and cannot tolerate in an election reform bill. External attempts to predict their preferences may be inaccurate.

Two final warnings about the release of the new VRA coverage formula instead of HR 1 (which neither Ned nor Rick recommends). First, the resumption of clearance is at least as controversial as anything in HR 1. Though I can’t disagree more strongly with Shelby County Court, it was said that argued that “required clearance in advance [itself] now unconstitutional “has” a lot of force. “Second, as strong as Season 5 of the VRA, it doesn’t reach (1) most Americans outside of the South, or (2) most of its partisans in the South. So an America with The revived clearance regime – but no other reform – will be a country where bad guys can still freely suppress votes and traitors in most of the country, and where gerrymandering is still raging even in the South.

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