It is irrelevant what gains have been made since the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Congress renewed the act in 2007. As an expression of the will of Congress, renewing an expiring act is the same as passing it fresh. It was Congress saying in 2007 that this Act should be the law of the land. Today... in 2007, and beyond 2007. And that this act should expire when we, here in 2007, specify it should expire.
It is THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 2007.
There has been much progress on minority voting rights since 1965.
There has, however, been no progress whatsoever on minority voting rights since 2007. None. Not in any quarter. There has been substantial erosion of minority voting rights since 2007.
Whatever Congress was thinking when they renewed the act in 2007, it still applies.... and then some.
(Similarly, who gives a rat's ass what Social Security was 'supposed to be' in the 1930s? Congress has specified what benefits Congress has specified in the 1990s and in the 2000s, and what congress has said most recently is *gasp* actually more relevant than what Congress said at some earlier time. There is no such thing as strict legislative constructionism where you rely on the earliest version of a law. And when the Bush tax cuts were renewed that was actually a new tax cut. It couldn't very well have been an old tax cut because the old tax cut law had an expiration date.)