Sen. Patrick Leahy: Shelby County v. Holder “has taken this country back to an era before the Civil Rights movement”

Patrick LeahyBut the Supreme Court’s decision [Shelby County v. Holder] has taken this country back to an era before the Civil Rights movement–a bad time in our history where some states openly discriminated against minority voters.

Just yesterday, we marked the 53rd anniversary of three civil rights activists who were killed in Mississippi for registering minorities to vote.

James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman gave their lives in 1964 when they were murdered while fighting in Mississippi for racial equality and free access to the ballot box.

Their example, and the example of generations of civil rights activists who gave their sweat, blood, and sometimes their lives must inspire us and drive us to do more.

It is now imperative for us to do everything in our power to correct the Shelby County decision and reinstate the full protections of the Voting Rights Act for the next generation.

—Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–VT)

Statement on S.1419 – A bill to amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965,  Senate Floor, June 22, 2017

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