Senate Live - July 20, 2006
H.R. 9 (ORDER NO. 521)
1.--Ordered, That on Thursday, July 20, 2006, at 9:30 a.m., the Senate proceed to the consideration of H.R. 9, an act to amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965; provided that there be 8 hours of debate equally divided between the two Leaders, or their designees, with no amendments in order to the bill; further, that following the use or yielding back of time, the Senate proceed to a vote on passage without any intervening action or debate. (July 19, 2006.)
S. 403 (ORDER NO. 16)
2.--Ordered, That on Thursday, July 20, 2006, at a time to be determined by the Majority Leader upon consultation with the Democratic Leader, the Senate proceed to the consideration of S. 403, a bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortions decisions. (July 18, 2006.)
RELATING TO ENERGY
3.--Ordered, That if the Majority Leader or his designee introduces a bill related to energy on Thursday, July 20, 2006, it shall be in order to move to proceed to that legislation on Friday, July 21, 2006. (July 19, 2006.)
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, tomorrow, the Senate will consider the Voting Rights Act under a limited time agreement. There are 8 hours of debate, but we hope to yield back some of the time and vote in the afternoon tomorrow. We will also have votes on several circuit court and district court nominees, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act [H.R. 4472], and under an agreement reached earlier this week, we will proceed to the consideration of S. 403, the Child Custody Protection Act. So Senators should plan for a full day tomorrow with a number of votes throughout the day.
Renewal of the Voting Rights Act is a foregone conclusion, but the debate may have some interesting points.
Senate leader expects Voting Rights Act renewal passage
Joshua Pantesco - July 14, 2006
[JURIST] Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) told reporters Friday that he anticipates easy passage of a bill renewing expiring sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) when it comes before the full Senate. Frist said the Senate will vote on the bill either by the end of June (sic) or after the month-long August break.
The contents of the Energy Bill may be moderately interesting. The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has a number of items on its plate, but my guess is the "mystery energy bill" relates to Lease Area 181. This proposed bill (PDF) has been in the news, but was introduced on February 7 as S. 2253.
UPDATE @ 10:48
No action, just some references that are relevant to the "debate" underway. I put scare quotes around "debate" because there won't be any meaningful debate, but only claims of how successful this legislation is.
One point that is of particular interest to me is the requirement to provide multi-lingual ballots and voting assistance. That requirement is being extended.
SEC. 7. EXTENSION OF BILINGUAL ELECTION REQUIREMENTS.
Section 203(b)(1) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a(b)(1)) is amended by striking `2007' and inserting `2032'.
This is interesting, in light of the dueling Inhofe/Salazar amendments that were debated under the immigration reform bill. The conclusion of "Language of the Country: Inhofe vs. Salazar" is reinforced by action.
Bradley J. Schlozman
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice
November 8, 2005
It is my privilege this morning to provide you with an overview of the Justice Department's enforcement of the language minority sections of the Voting Rights Act. As you know, these provisions, like Section 5, are due to expire in August 2007.
The minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which have been in effect since 1975, are found in Sections 203 and 4(f)(4) of the Act. These provisions mandate that any covered jurisdiction which "provides any registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, or other materials or information relating to the electoral process, including ballots" must provide such materials and information "in the language of the applicable minority group as well as in the English language." ...
Indeed, since 2001, this Administration has filed more minority language cases under Sections 4 and 203 than in the entire previous 26 years in which these provisions have been applicable. Each and every case has been successfully resolved with comprehensive relief for affected voters. And the pace is accelerating, with more cases filed and resolved in 2005 than in any previous year, breaking the previous record set in 2004. The lawsuits filed in 2004 alone provided comprehensive minority language programs to more citizens than all previous Section 203 and 4(f)(4) suits combined.
As more people come to this country, and don't demonstrate proficiency in English, the greater the number of voting districts that will come in the scope of Section 203(b)(1) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I conclude that there is no enforcement of an expectation to assimilate, or perhaps there isn't even that expectation.
UPDATE @ 16:23
A timely piece of news from ScotusBlog ... Judge rebuffs government on NSA spying. This is a lower court (Federal District Court) opinion relating to the NSA terrorist surveillance program, and the judge refused to dismiss the case at this stage of the proceeding.
UPDATE @ 16:28
The Senate is starting a roll call vote on the Voting Rights Bill.
UPDATE @ 17:06
UPDATE @ 17:11
Senator Frist outlines business for the rest of the week. No more roll call votes this week.
For today, the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act will be debated for 2 hours, then passed by a voice vote. This creates a national sexual offender registry.
Also today, 2 Circuit Court judges and 2 District Court judges will be confirmed by a voice vote. Senator Frist did not name names.
The Child Custody Protection Act will be taken up tomorrow.
UPDATE @ 19:37
H.R. 4472 - the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was
PASSED on a voice vote.
Circuit Court nominees Gorsuch and Shepherd have been confirmed en bloc on a voice vote.