I know the Supreme Court's been on a bit of a hot streak lately, but let's not forget that they dealt a crushing blow to the Voting Rights Act just two years ago. H.R. 2867/S. 1659, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, would institute a new pre-clearance formula (which the Supreme Court's decision all but invited Congress to do), and this bill would, apparently, represent an improvement over the similar voting rights fix Mr. Leahy introduced in 2014 -- the new bill's preclearance formula, which would force states with 15 voting rights violations over the past decade, or only 10 if any one of those violations occurred statewide, to pre-clear changes in voting rights laws with the Department of Justice, would cover 13 states (versus five for last year's bill). Might Democrats actually be putting forward a strong bill, daring the Republicans to list their objections, and then trying to win the resulting argument? That's a lot to hope for, but why hope, when you can do? Hence both Common Cause and People for the American Way help you tell your Congressfolk to support the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Meanwhile, Wendy Woods Esty of Brooktondale, NY, helps you tell New York state Senators to pass A. 285/S. 911, also known as "Lavern's Law." The bill would allow victims of medical malpractice to start the statute-of-limitations clock when they discover the malpractice, not when the malpractice occurred, so that folks like the late Lavern Wilkinson, a 41-year-old home health aide and single mother, will be better able to seek redress from the courts when their doctors do them wrong. (Ms. Wilkinson, of Brooklyn, NY, didn't learn of her lung cancer until after the statute of limitations had expired, and by then, the cancer had become terminal.) The state Assembly has already passed the bill, but state Senate leader John Flanagan has hasn't allowed the bill to come to a vote yet, despite considerably public outrage over Ms. Wilkinson's plight and support for the bill from several Republican Senators. But the Big Stick of Bad PR can be turned on anyone, especially politicians who take their marching orders from people who think all lawsuits are frivolous except the ones they like. So let's turn it on them.