Rep. John Lewis comments on the U.S. Supreme Court

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Civil rights leader and icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who was nearly beaten to death on Bloody Sunday marching for the right to vote, was interviewed by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC today about the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County. John Lewis: SCOTUS ‘stabbed’ civil rights law ‘in its very heart’:

Georgia Congressman Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights leader for the last five decades, sharply criticized the Supreme Court’s decision to strip a key enforcement mechanism from the Voting Rights Act, enacted nearly a half century ago to protect minority voters.

“What the Supreme Court did today is stab the Voting Rights Act of
1965 in its very heart,” Lewis told Mitchell Tuesday, calling the 5-4
decision to strike down the formula Congress used to determine which
districts require federal oversight of voting rules “a major step back.”

“We may not have people being beaten today, maybe they
are not being denied the right to participate or to register to vote,
they’re not being chased by police dogs or trampled by horses. But in
the 11 states of the old Confederacy and even in some of the states
outside of the South, there’s been a systematic, deliberate attempt to
take us back to another period. These men that voted to strip the Voting
Rights Act of its power, they never stood in unmovable lines.  They
never had to pass a so-called literacy test. It took us almost a hundred
years to get where we are today. So will it take another hundred years
to fix it, to change it?”

Lewis witnessed President Johnson signing the historic Voting Rights
Act into law nearly 50 years ago and still has a pen Johnson used to ink
its permanence.

VRA

“I didn’t think that on that day when President Johnson signed the
Voting Rights Act, that I would live to see five members of the United
States Supreme Court undoing what President Johnson did with those
pens,” Lewis said.

“My message to the members of the United States Supreme Court is
remember. Don’t forget our recent history. Walk in our shoes. Come and
walk in our shoes. Come and walk in the shoes of those three young men
that died in Mississippi. Come and walk in the shoes of those of us who
walked across that bridge on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965.”

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