During an appearance on MSNBC’s The Sunday Show with host Jonathan Capehart over the weekend, Texas state Rep. Jarvis Johnson (D) laid out some of the latest developments in the ongoing national push for new voting rights protections, and he expressed support for swift action by Congress to enact these proposed guardrails. Johnson is among the numerous Democrats from the Texas state House who left the state recently, blocking Texas Republicans from obtaining the quorum that would be necessary for moving forward on a certain suppressive, new elections bill. Since leaving Texas, Johnson and others have been in D.C., advocating for voting rights protections.
Asked about how he feels regarding the “momentum” behind the push for new federal voting rights protections in which Texas Democrats are participating, Johnson commented as follows:
‘We’re very excited about it — the fact that we have calls from all over the country. People are encouraging us, and people are certainly singing kudos, but it has to continue. This is something that we have to maintain for the long haul. This is not just something that we’re doing ceremoniously. We’re actually working very diligently with the Senate and Congress to make sure that we’re passing the national bills… so that we can suppress all of the other hateful bills that the Republicans all across this country are trying to pass.’
Check out Johnson’s comments in the video below:
.@jarvisjohnsontx on the momentum behind the TX democrats in DC: “This is not just something that we’re doing ceremoniously. We’re actually working very diligently with the senate and congress to make sure that we’re passing the national bills.” #SundayShow pic.twitter.com/4ViAo8NUg8
— The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart (@TheSundayShow) July 25, 2021
Johnson referenced one piece of proposed legislation — the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — that could help stop pushes for new restrictive election guidelines in multiple states at once. If enacted, that voting rights bill would reinstate a requirement that was previously in place for federal authorities to pre-approve certain changes to the conducting of elections. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 put such a requirement in place, but the U.S. Supreme Court lifted it in 2013. The hope with having the rule would be to provide federal authorities with an opportunity to stop at least some iterations of voter suppression before they start. Since last year’s presidential election, Republican state legislators around the country have pushed new suppressive election restrictions that respond to no documented, systematic election integrity problem — since such a problem does not exist — but do make it more difficult to vote.