Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.) introduced legislation to reauthorize portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were set to expire next year. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) spoke about the importance of the legislation
The Voting Rights Act is the most important Civil Rights legislation of the 20th Century...It enforced the 15th Amendment, ensuring that all Americans could enjoy the most basic right of citizens in a democracy – the right to vote. Unfortunately, even in the 21st Century we continue to see attempts to disenfranchise minority voters. We cannot permit the Voting Rights Act to expire and leave the next generation of Americans without full protection for their voting rights.