Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a forceful and impassioned defense of
the Voting Rights Act on Monday, condemning laws and other moves in
some states that she said are reviving “old demons of discrimination.” Clinton
defends Voting Rights Act:
“Anyone that says that racial discrimination is no longer a problem in
American elections must not be paying attention,” said Clinton.
Clinton’s address to the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in
San Francisco was the first in what she said will be a series of major
addresses this fall about the challenges undermining Americans’ faith in
“We do — let’s admit it — have a long history of
shutting people out: African Americans, women, gays and lesbians, people
with disabilities,” she said. “And throughout our history, we have
found too many ways to divide and exclude people from their ownership of
the law and protection from the law.”
Clinton criticized the
Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting
Rights Act, urging Congress to reconsider the 1965 landmark law and
calling on citizen activists to mobilize in their communities.
recalled being a high school senior and watching at home on a
black-and-white television set as President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the
legislation. And she reminisced about going to the Rio Grande Valley in
Texas seven years later to help Spanish-speaking residents register to
If the Voting Rights Act is not fixed, Clinton warned,
“citizens will be disenfranchised, victimized by the law instead of
served by it, and that progress — that historical progress toward a more
perfect union — will go backward instead of forward.”
assailed what she considers an “unseemly rush” to make it harder for
African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities to vote. She noted
that this year, more than 80 bills restricting voting rights have been
introduced in 31 states.
“We’ve seen a sweeping effort across our
country to construct new obstacles to voting, often undercover and
addressing a phantom epidemic of election fraud,” she said.
singled out four states in particular: Florida, South Carolina and
Texas, as well as North Carolina, home to what she called the “greatest
hits of voter suppression.”
“There are many problems in life that
we can’t fix, at least not quickly, but preserving fairness and equality
in our voting system is one that we can and that we should,” she said.
* * *
In San Francisco, the ABA awarded Clinton its prestigious ABA Medal in
recognition of her pioneering career as a woman practicing law. ABA
President Laurel G. Bellows lauded Clinton’s “lifetime in pursuit of
Video of Hillary Clinton's remarks to the ABA Convention.