Sessions and the voting rights nightmare

    When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell silenced Elizabeth Warren last week as she was reading Coretta Scott King's 1986 letter denouncing Jeff Sessions, he jogged the memory of another Massachusetts Democrat, Rep. William Keating.

    "I went to bed that evening seeing what was occurring," Keating said in an interview, "and when I woke up in the morning, my mind immediately went back to the outrage of an amendment that had been passed in the House," almost entirely with Republican votes.

    The amendment, introduced by Rep. Dave Schweikert, R-Ariz., and approved on May 9, 2012, was aimed at preventing the Justice Department from using its funds "to bring any action against any state for implementation of a state law requiring voter identification."

    In other words, even if the Department of Justice thought a voter ID law discriminated against African-Americans or Latinos, it could not sue to protect them.

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