In honor of a former deputy, President Joe Biden is urging Congress again to pass legislation defending the right to vote.
U.S. President Joe Biden has renewed his call on Congress to pass legislation protecting the right to vote in honor of civil rights leader and longtime parliamentarian John Lewis, who he died a year ago.
In a statement Saturday, the one-year anniversary of Lewis’ death, Biden said he was critical of continuing “the cause that John was willing to give his life for: to protect the sacred right to vote.”
“Not since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s have we seen such uninterrupted attacks on voting rights and the integrity of our elections,” said Biden, who pointed to the false claims by his predecessor Donald Trump that the 2020 elections were marred by such a spread. example.
He also launched “new waves of voter suppression,” a reference to a mass of state legislation which aims to limit access to voting and which critics say is disproportionate damage to Blacks and other black voters.
Contingent laws are under discussion in states like Texas and implemented by Republican legislators in other states, such as Arizona, Florida and Georgia.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, which keeps track of voter suppression laws in the United States, he says on its website that 17 states had enacted 28 new laws restricting access to voting from 21 June.
“I call on Congress to pass the People’s Law and the Advancement of Voting Rights Act John Lewis so we can sign them into law,” Biden said in his statement, referring to the proposed legislation that would strengthen the voting rights but is installed in Congress.
Democrats are pushing for the People’s Law, a vast federal ballot and election project, but Senate Republicans have united to block it, saying it violates states ’ability to hold elections. Most Republicans have also rejected the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which will restore sections of the Voting Rights Act that have been weakened by the Supreme Court.
Lewis, who served in Congress for decades, was a protégé of Martin Luther King Jr. and continued the fight for civil and human rights until the end of his life.
He was perhaps best known for leading about 600 protesters in the Sunday of blood march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. State troops defeated Lewis and other activists marching for the right to vote that day.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris described Lewis as “an American hero.”
“Congressman Lewis has fought tirelessly for the highest ideals of our country: freedom and justice for all, and for the right of every American to make his or her voice heard at the ballot box,” Harris said in a statement. Saturday.
As a college student at American Baptist College and later at Fisk University, Lewis also helped disintegrate public spaces in Nashville and pushed for racial justice throughout the South.
Nashville marked the anniversary of his death with events Friday and Saturday, renaming a large portion of Fifth Avenue to the Rep. John Lewis Way.
Among the roadside establishments is the downtown Woolworth building, where Lewis and other black civil rights leaders were challenged to sit at the segregated dining bench that would not serve them in the 1960s. Hundreds marched down the street before arriving at the Ryman Auditorium for a celebration ceremony.
Meanwhile, former U.S. lawmakers and members of Lewis’ family gathered Saturday in San Diego for the baptism of a Navy ship named after Lewis.
“This ship will be a beacon for the world that reminds all who see it of the persistence and courage of John Lewis,” said Nancy Pelosi, president of the Democratic Chamber, at the baptism of the USNS John Lewis.
Lewis ’nephew, Marcus Tyner, said the family was grateful for the honor, but said“ what I would like most about my uncle ”is that Congress pass the bill by the vote called after him. .