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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rep. John Lewis Pushes For Updated Voting Rights Act

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., accompanied by fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus express disappointment in the Supreme Court's decision on Shelby County v. Holder that invalidates Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., accompanied by fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus express disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision on Shelby County v. Holder that invalidates Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on Wednesday on the future of the Voting Rights Act. In June, the Supreme Court nullified a key provision of the act, ruling the law was outdated.

The decision ended the requirement for more than a dozen states to clear new election laws with the Department of Justice.

Now it’s up to Congress to update the formula used to determine which states need extra oversight, based on their history of past voting rights abuses.

The Senate committee will hear from U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights leader who led the 1965 peace march at Selma.

“I do feel a major responsibility to do my part in helping to protect the right of all of our citizens to participate in the democratic process,” Lewis told Here & Now.

The committee will also hear from Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner, who led the effort to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act in 2006.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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