83S10072 LUC-D
  By: Miles H.C.R. No. 4
         WHEREAS, The United States Congress passed the Voting Rights
  Act on August 6, 1965, and more than four decades later, this
  legislation continues to play a vital role in preventing and
  addressing real threats to a fundamental right of every American;
         WHEREAS, One of the most effective civil rights laws in
  history, the Voting Rights Act was designed to enforce rights that
  had been granted to minority voters nearly a century earlier by the
  Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution;
  although these amendments had prohibited racial discrimination in
  voting, communities of color continued to face disenfranchisement
  from discriminatory state voting laws; and
         WHEREAS, The Voting Rights Act immediately invalidated the
  worst Jim Crow laws in the South and greatly increased minority
  participation in the electoral process; moreover, the Act opened
  the way for the election of more officials from minority
  backgrounds; in the mid-1960s, there were only about 70 African
  American elected officials in the South, and by the turn of the 21st
  century, there were some 5,000; and
         WHEREAS, In recent years, the Voting Rights Act has helped
  Latinos make similar gains; the number of Latinos serving in
  elected office rose from about 3,700 in 1996 to more than 5,800 in
  2011; and
         WHEREAS, Most provisions in the Voting Rights Act are
  permanent, notably the portions that guarantee that no one may be
  denied the right to vote because of his or her race or color; some
  enforcement-related provisions require periodic reauthorization,
  however, and over the years, Congress has repeatedly extended them
  because many state and local governments have continued to erect
  barriers to minority political participation; these renewals were
  endorsed by Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush,
  and most recently, President George W. Bush, who signed the Voting
  Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006; that
  legislation passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support after
  house and senate hearings exhaustively examined a new generation of
  tactics having discriminatory impact, including at-large
  elections, annexations, last-minute polling place relocations, and
  redistricting; and
         WHEREAS, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued a call for a
  strong voting rights law, and the Voting Rights Act was enacted
  during his presidency; recognizing and upholding the legacy of this
  great Texan will promote equality for all citizens; and
         WHEREAS, In the past, the Supreme Court has consistently
  upheld the authority of Congress over the VRA, including Section 5;
  settled case law supports our historic reliance on Congress to
  develop remedies for discrimination and to create uniform federal
  laws that ensure each citizen can enter the voting booth with the
  certainty that his or her vote will be accurately and fairly
  counted; and
         WHEREAS, Sadly, attempts at voter suppression have not ended,
  as Congress recognized in 2006 when it renewed the landmark Voting
  Rights Act for another 25 years; if the United States is to continue
  to serve as a beacon of democracy in the world, we cannot allow the
  discriminatory practices of the past to resurface; now, therefore,
  be it
         RESOLVED, That the 83rd Legislature of the State of Texas,
  1st Called Session, hereby express its support for the Voting
  Rights Act and urge the United States Congress to protect every
  citizen's right to participate in the political process by making
  permanent the provisions of Section 5 of that legislation; and, be
  it further
         RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
  copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to
  the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of
  Representatives of the United States Congress, to the United States
  Supreme Court, and to all the members of the Texas delegation to
  Congress with the request that this resolution be officially
  entered in the Congressional Record.