Rep. John Lewis waits to enter the Senate chamber in December 2019. Photo: Tom Williams

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a bill with the support of 47 co-sponsors on Wednesday that would fully restore the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the name of the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).

Why it matters: The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act aims to counter the Supreme Court's controversial 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted voter protections that had required states with a history of racial discrimination to gain federal approval before changing voting laws.

  • Lewis, who passed away last Friday, fought his entire life to secure equal voting rights and did not live to see the Voting Rights Act restored.
  • The Senate bill named in his honor would also provide the federal government with "other critical tools to combat what has become a full-fledged assault on Americans’ right to vote," Leahy said in a statement.
  • The bill was co-sponsored by every Democratic senator and the two independents who caucus with Democrats, as well as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

The state of play: The Democratic-led House passed a similar bill to restore the Voting Rights Act in 2019, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has declined to bring it up for a vote.

What they're saying: “John called voting ‘the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union.’ He was right. And that’s why we cannot stand idly by while states engage in flagrant suppression schemes to take this tool away from marginalized communities," Leahy said in a speech on the Senate floor.

  • "The House already passed the companion to the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in December. Now we must do our part. We cannot claim to honor the life of John Lewis if we refuse to carry on his life’s work. Or worse, if we stand in the way of that work."

Go deeper: Jim Clyburn calls for Congress to pass John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to reflect that 48 senators back the bill (not 47).

Go deeper

Updated Jul 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

In photos: Civil rights icon John Lewis honored with ceremonies across Alabama

A horse-drawn carriage carrying the body of the late Rep. John Lewis on July 26 crosses the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where Lewis and other civil rights leaders were attacked by police officers while marching in support of voting rights. Photo: Lynsey Weatherspoon/Getty Images

The life of the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is being celebrated in a series of memorials this weekend across Alabama, the state in which he was born.

The big picture: Six days of remembrance for the giant of the civil rights movement, who died on July 17 at age 80, began Saturday morning with a service celebrating "The Boy from Troy" at Trojan Arena, Troy University, per a schedule provided by his family.

Updated Jul 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

John Lewis lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda

The body of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis arrived at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Monday to lie in state, following a series of memorials this weekend that included a final trip across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

The big picture: Lewis is the first Black lawmaker to receive the honor. Because the Capitol is closed to the public due to the coronavirus, Lewis will lie in state for just a few hours after an invitation-only ceremony is held for lawmakers. A public viewing will be held on the Capitol steps.

The U.S. is now playing by China's internet rules

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's crackdown on TikTok suggests that the U.S. government is starting to see the internet more like China does — as a network that countries can and should control within their borders.

The big picture: Today's global internet has split into three zones, according to many observers: The EU's privacy-focused network; China's government-dominated network; and the U.S.-led network dominated by a handful of American companies. TikTok's fate suggests China's model has U.S. fans as well.