In honor of the longtime congressman, President Joe Biden once again urges Congress to pass legislation defending the right to vote.
US President Joe Biden renewed his call on Congress to pass legislation that would protect the right to vote in honor of civil rights leader and long-time congressman John Lewis, who died a year ago .
In a statement on Saturday, on the first anniversary of Lewis’ death, Biden said it was essential to pursue the cause John was willing to give his life for: protecting the sacred right to vote.
Since the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, we have not seen such relentless attacks on voting rights and the integrity of our elections, said Biden, who pointed out that his predecessor Donald Trumps falsely claimed that the 2020 election had been marred by a large number of examples.
He also criticized new waves of voter suppression, a reference to a host of state laws that seek to restrict access to the vote and which critics say would disproportionately harm black people and other voters in the country. color.
Contentious laws are debated in states like Texas and implemented by Republican lawmakers in other states including Arizona, Florida, and Georgia.
New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, which tracks voter suppression laws across the United States, said on its website that 17 states have enacted 28 new laws restricting access to voting in the United States. 21st of June.
I call again on Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act so that I can sign them, Biden said in his statement, referring to a bill that would strengthen voting rights but is blocked in Congress.
Democrats are pushing for the For the People Act, a federal voting and election bill, but Senate Republicans have united to block it, saying it infringes on states’ ability to hold elections. Most Republicans also rejected John Lewis’ Advancement of Voting Rights Act, which would reinstate sections of the Voting Rights Act 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 around 600 protesters in the Bloody Sunday March over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. State soldiers beat Lewis and other marching activists. for the right to vote that day.
US Vice President Kamala Harris described Lewis as an American hero.
Congressman Lewis has fought tirelessly for our country’s highest ideals: freedom and justice for all, and for the right of every American to have their voice heard at the polls, Harris said in his own statement Saturday.
Mourners see a makeshift memorial to the late Congressman John Lewis, a pioneer of the civil rights movement and long-time member of the United States House of Representatives, in Atlanta last year [Dustin Chambers/Reuters]
As a student at American Baptist College and then Fisk University, Lewis also contributed to the desegregation of public spaces in Nashville and advocated for racial justice in the South.
Nashville marked the anniversary of his death with events Friday and Saturday, renaming much of Fifth Avenue to represent John Lewis Way.
Among the establishments lining the street is the downtown Woolworth building, where Lewis and other black civil rights leaders defiantly sat at the separate meal counter that would not serve them in 1960. Hundreds of people marched through the streets before arriving at the Ryman Auditorium for a celebratory ceremony.
Meanwhile, senior U.S. lawmakers and members of the Lewis family gathered in San Diego on Saturday for the christening of a Navy ship named after Lewis.
This ship will be a beacon to the world reminding all who see it of the perseverance and courage of John Lewis, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at the christening of USNS John Lewis.
Lewis’s nephew Marcus Tyner said the family were grateful for the honor, but said what my uncle would like most is for Congress to pass the voting rights bill that carries her name.
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