Biden, in Selma, says voting rights are still ‘under attack’ News-thread


Biden also called for redistricting in Alabama, where activists have said the votes of the state’s black residents have been watered down.

How Times reporters cover politics. We trust our journalists to be independent observers. So while Times staff members can vote, they are not allowed to endorse or campaign for political candidates or causes. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of a movement or giving money or raising money for any political candidate or electoral cause.

“Since I come here in remembrance, not for show, Selma is a reckoning,” Biden said. “The right to vote, the right to vote, to have your vote counted, is the threshold of democracy and freedom. With him, everything is possible. Without him, without that right, nothing is possible”.

While in office, Mr. Biden pushed through two voting rights bills, including a bill named after Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon who was among the protesters beaten while trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday. .

The bill named after Mr. Lewis, who died in 2020, would have restored a key piece of the historic Voting Rights Act. The provision was based on a formula to identify states with a history of discrimination and require those jurisdictions to clear any changes to their voting processes with the federal government. Those protections were removed by the Supreme Court in 2013.

But the bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, failed in a Democratic-controlled Congress, and has little chance of passing now that the House has shifted to Republican control. The For the People Act, a revision of federal election laws, also failed.

The president delivered a fiery speech in 2021 warning that Republican-led efforts to restrict voting across the country constituted the “most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War.” But in recent months, the tone of Biden’s impassioned speeches has changed. Now, when the president speaks on the subject, his comments have given way to something akin to public acknowledgment that the fight for voting rights could last longer than he initially promised.

“Look, they accuse me of being a hopeless optimist,” Biden said in a January speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. often preached. “Progress is never easy, but redeeming the soul of the country is absolutely essential.”


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