H.R. 1 (2021) Policy Breakdown

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H.R. 1 (2021) Studies and Reference Materials

The Public Interest Legal Foundation offers a variety of resources to help citizens understand the dangers of H.R. 1 and accompanying legislation as it pertains to election integrity, state control of election procedures, and judicial independence. Included here is the Foundation’s section-by-section review of the bill as introduced, links to legislative updates, and related news coverage.

Official Bill Status Tracker (Congress.gov)

Text of H.R. 1 (Congress.gov)

News and Editorial Coverage

Washington Free Beacon — H.R. 1 Would Undercut States Barring Heinous Felons from Voting (February 17, 2021)

Gatestone Institute — If You Thought the 2020 Were Chaotic, Just Wait (February 8, 2021)

The Washington Times Op-Ed – Under H.R. 1, Legal and Illegal Votes Look the Same (February 8, 2021)

The Epoch TimesCritics Warn HR1 Is ‘Attack on American Liberties’ (January 27, 2021)

The Washington TimesDemocrats Question Election Results: ‘We just trust the machines, and we shouldn’t’ (January 24, 2021)

PILF’s Tour Through H.R. 1

After the prefatory sections, the 791-page bill[1] divides into three sections: Division A- Voting, Division B- Campaign Finance and Division C- Ethics. This summary focuses on Division A. 

In Division A, the bill contains a provision that:

Now, registrants can only be removed for “objective and reliable evidence of ineligibility” which, of course, is not defined.

Regarding Redistricting for Congressional Districts

Actions to Limit the Power of Federal Judges 

Miscellaneous and Endnotes

Creates a task force to increase voting in U.S. Territories [2301 and 2302]

[1] The 2019 version of HR1 was 570 pages long.

[2] Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment states that when the right to vote is denied to eligible male citizens, “the basis of the representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.” 

[3] Section 4, “Standards for Judicial Review.”

[4] An attempt to control opposition to the bill by controlling access to the courts was not included in the 2019 version of HR1. Notably, at that time, President Trump had only appointed 84 new federal judges to the bench.  However, by January 4, 2021, the date the new version was introduced, President Trump had appointed 229 new federal judges to the bench. See Biographical Directory of Article III Federal Judges, 1789-present | Federal Judicial Center (fjc.gov) (last accessed 01/26/21). The bill’s inclusion of the new “Standards for Judicial Review” section (Section 3) effectively prevents any of the new judges from ever reviewing or ruling on the constitutionality of an election-related law.  

[5] Of the 15 active judges in the District of Columbia, 11 were appointed by Democrat presidents and 4 were appointed by President Trump. 

[6] This changes federal law on venue that has been in place for over 50 years and which allows plaintiffs to sue in the districts in which they live or where the issue or injury occurred. See 28 USC 1391(e)(1) (venue for actions where defendant is the United States).