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Legislation #: 051071 Introduction Date: 8/25/2005
Type: Resolution Effective Date: none
Sponsor: COUNCILMEMBER RILEY
Title: Expressing City Council support for and urging the members of the U.S. Congress to support the authorization of Key 1965 Voting Rights Act provisions; and directing the City Clerk to forward the resolution to the City’s Congressional delegation.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
8/25/2005 Filed by the Clerk's office
8/25/2005 Immediate Adoption
8/25/2005 Adopted

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RESOLUTION NO. 051071

 

Expressing City Council support for and urging the members of the U.S. Congress to support the authorization of Key 1965 Voting Rights Act provisions; and directing the City Clerk to forward the resolution to the Citys Congressional delegation.

 

WHEREAS, forty years ago, after the bloody march on Selma, Alabama, Congress passed and the President signed the historic Voting Rights Act (the Act) creating federal enforcement power to strike down centuries of voter discrimination against blacks and people of color; and

 

WHEREAS, the key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act will expire in August 2007 unless Congress acts to reauthorize them; and

 

WHEREAS, Section 5 of the Act contains the Pre-Clearance provisions requiring jurisdictions in all or part of 16 states to prove to the Department of Justice that a voting change will not have a discriminatory purpose or effect on minority voters; and

 

WHEREAS, Section 203 of the Act requires more than 450 counties and townships under the Voting Rights Act to provide bilingual language assistance to limited English speaking voters; and

 

WHEREAS, Sections 6-9 of the Act authorizes the Department of Justice to appoint examiners and send observers to the polls to deter, witness or report discriminatory activities; and

 

WHEREAS, the original 1965 Voting Rights Act made these provisions temporary subject to reauthorization by Congress based on evidence that the need for these provisions continues to exist; and

 

WHEREAS, there is an effort to make these provisions national and permanent that could cause these Voting Rights Act provisions to be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court; and

 

WHEREAS, there are several legal precedents that require that the provisions be narrowly tailored or congruent and proportional to address the harms they are designed to cure; and

 

WHEREAS, to meet constitutional muster there is a need to establish a new record of evidence to document for Congress the continued need for the Voting Rights Act enforcement provisions; and

 

WHEREAS, a national commission on the Voting Rights Act, spearheaded by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, has been established and is holding hearings and is gathering evidence to submit a comprehensive report to congress; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

 

Section 1. The Council hereby urges Congress to conduct the appropriate due diligence to investigate and establish a record of evidence to determine the need for reauthorization of the Acts key provisions.

 

Section 2. The Council hereby urges Congress to reauthorize Sections 5, 6-9 and 203 of the Act, which are the key enforcement provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that are set to expire in August of 2007.

 

Section 3. The Council hereby urges Congress to conduct the due diligence necessary to ensure that the provisions are narrowly tailored to address the harms it is designed to address, and not make these provisions national and permanent which may result in the provisions being ruled unconstitutional.

 

Section 4. The Council further directs the City Clerk to forward this resolution to each member of the Citys U.S. Congressional delegation.

 

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