voting-rights

Rep. Hank Johnson receives threatening calls from Trump supporters for ‘Hitler’ comparison
Conservative media personalities and Rep. Dan Crenshaw have criticized Johnson’s remarks

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., walks to the Capitol for a vote on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., has received hundreds of angry phone calls at his district and D.C. offices since giving a speech that likened the political moment that brought President Donald Trump to power to the rise of Adolf Hitler.

And some of those messages have been racist and threatening, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

House Democrats unveil first major legislative package of voting, campaign finance and ethics overhauls
Committees will soon begin marking up aspects of the package ahead of floor vote on H.R. 1

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., plan to bring a bill to the floor in the coming weeks to overhaul voting and campaign finance laws. Democrats are introducing it as H.R. 1 to signal that it’s their top priority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Automatic voter registration, independent redistricting commissions, super PAC restrictions, forced release of presidential tax returns — these are just a handful of the provisions in a massive government overhaul package House Democrats will formally unveil Friday, according to a summary of the legislation obtained by Roll Call. 

The package is being introduced as H.R. 1 to show that it’s the top priority of the new Democratic majority. Committees with jurisdiction over the measures will hold markups on the legislation before the package is brought to the floor sometime later this month or early in February. 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized for Lung Cancer
RBG is resting comfortably but is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery for lung cancer Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery for early stage lung cancer Friday at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, the Supreme Court announced in a press release. 

“Justice Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days,” Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement.

If She Didn’t Give Up on Democracy, Neither Should We
When it came to voting, Rosanell Eaton wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer

After the Supreme Court gutted key provisions of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, Rosanell Eaton, center, fought back, Curtis writes. (Walt Unks/AP)

OPINION — If you don’t know Rosanell Eaton’s name, it’s time to learn exactly who she was and why her life and life’s work matters. She is the antidote to the cynicism infecting politics in 2018, a hero of democracy when democracy is under siege. She cared about her country and its highest principles, demanded her basic human and civil rights and brought others along with her.

Rosanell Eaton would not take “no” for an answer.

Voting Rights Piece May Take More Time in Ethics Overhaul
“We’re not going to put any fixed deadline on that,” Sarbanes says

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., says work on a voting rights component of the Democrats’ planned ethics overhaul may require more time. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats who are preparing an overhaul of political and ethics laws, a top priority of the incoming majority, have acknowledged that a component aimed at restoring a key section of the Voting Rights Act may take longer than their speedy timeline for the bill.

Other pieces of the overhaul, which Democratic leaders have said they will designate as House bill 1 in the new Congress, could also run parallel to the main package as a way to garner bipartisan support in the Senate, said Rep. John Sarbanes, the Maryland Democrat who is crafting the bill.

A House Race in North Carolina Gets Curiouser and Curiouser
Who knew the background checks for political work were so lax?

For a while it looked like Republican Mark Harris had squeaked out a win in the 9th District. But there’s something rotten in the state of North Carolina, Curtis writes. (John D. Simmons/AP file photo)

OPINION — CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Perhaps North Carolina’s 9th District will have a congressman by January; but maybe not.

You see, there seems to have been a mix-up in the count, distribution and collection of absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties, which make up part of the district — what the state elections board (made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and one independent) called “unfortunate activities” when it first refused to certify the results.

GOP Leader Cracks Door, Slightly, on Voting Rights Act

McCarthy, R-Calif., thinks it's time for an "overall review" of the VRA (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last year, House Democrats saw ex-Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a possible (if ultimately disappointing ) ally in the fight to rewrite the Voting Rights Act for the 21st century.  

On Tuesday, Cantor's leadership successor, Kevin McCarthy, might have revealed himself as another important potential friend to the effort. The California Republican echoed at a pen-and-pad briefing what fellow GOP lawmakers have said before: Any revision of the landmark 1965 law has to start in the Judiciary Committee — a disappointing answer for advocates who know Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., is disinclined to tackle the matter.  

The 'Real Congresswoman From Selma' Has Her Say

Sewell likes to kid that her mother is the "real congresswoman" from the district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Rep. Terri A. Sewell has her constituents in Alabama. Then she has "the" constituent.  

"Everyone knows [who] the real congresswoman from the 7th District is," the Alabama Democrat said. Her staff backs her up, almost in unison: "Nancy Sewell." One of the more recent examples of this dynamic at work happened as the movie "Selma," about the March 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march, was prepping for national release. Nancy Sewell thought it would be a shame if it didn't open in the city.  

New Congressional Black Caucus Staffers Announced

Congressional Black Caucus staffers, from left, Kwame Canty, Kendra Brown, Candace L. Randle and Abdul Henderson. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the 114th Congress already heading into its seventh week of action, the Congressional Black Caucus announced its new staff, filling out its four-person shop with three new hires and one holdover from the 113th.  

Abdul Henderson will serve as the CBC’s new executive director, taking over for LaDavia Drane, who is now director of the Office of Federal and Regional Affairs in D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration. Henderson, 39, comes from the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he served as an adviser on global and intergovernmental relations. Henderson told CQ Roll Call in an interview last week that he was looking to expand the CBC’s outreach to audiences that haven’t traditionally heard its message — or even know what the CBC is.  

Lawmakers Push Longshot Bid to Rewrite Voting Rights Act

Sensenbrenner seeks more Republican support for a revived Voting Rights Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner fell short in his 2014 efforts to convince GOP leadership to take up his Voting Rights Amendment Act, but the Wisconsin Republican is ready to take another stab at passing a rewrite of the historic law.  

But there's little indication this year will be any different.