'A wave of ill-founded laws': Sen. Leahy decries Republican voting measures

"As we watch, almost daily, states unleash a wave of ill-founded laws that restrict the precious right to vote - not protect it, but restrict it! - the oversight role of the federal government envisioned by the 1965 Voting Rights Act is more urgently needed than ever," Leahy said.

The Vermont Democrat spoke at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, entitled "Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote," focused on efforts by Republicans in Georgia and elsewhere to implement new voting laws that critics say will limit voting access by African-Americans and other minorities that lean Democratic.

Leahy said ensuring the right to vote should be a bipartisan effort to protect American democracy, and urged his colleagues to unite behind a federal bill expanding voting access.