It was not until October 1981, after the new voting rights bill had passed the House of Representatives by a large, momentum-enhancing majority, that the Reagan administration finally announced its position on the legislation. Reagan had to proceed cautiously because Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Strom Thurmond was strongly opposed to preclearance. To placate Thurmond, Reagan went slow on voting rights. Smith and Reynolds had an even more fundamental objection to the new voting rights bill. They said that because the revised Section 2 conceived of voting as a group right, rather than an individual right, the new legislation would undermine the basic principle that rights inhere in individuals. The critics conceded that the redefinition of terms served the short-term interests of voting rights lawyers. For once, voting rights advocates agreed with Hatch. Senator Charles Mathias, one of the original sponsors of the Voting Rights Act of 1982, summed up the attitude of most civil rights activists.