Signing of the Voting Rights Act

President Lyndon B. Johnson speaking before signing the Voting Rights Act [LBJ Library photo #A1032-15 by Yoichi Okamoto]

Clinton defends Voting Rights Act

Aug 14, 2013

by Philip Rucker
[published on WashingtonPost.com on August 12, 2013]

SAN FRANCISCO — Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a forceful and impassioned defense of the Voting Rights Act here on Monday, condemning laws and other moves in some states that she said are reviving “old demons of discrimination.”

In an address focused on the role of the law in American society, Clinton emphatically entered the debate about minority voting rights and made some of her most political remarks since stepping down as secretary of state this year.

“Anyone that says that racial discrimination is no longer a problem in American elections must not be paying attention,” said Clinton, who is weighing a second run for president in 2016.

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 government.

“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. read more