On the heels of Hillary Clinton’s first domestic policy speech since leaving the Senate, Ready for Hillary, the high-profile SuperPAC campaigning for her to run for president in 2016, is circulating a petition demanding that Congress address recent changes to the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court. Speaking to the American Bar Association yesterday having been awarded the prestigious ABA Medal, the front-runner who has not said she is running exhorted that gathering to work at the local level to demand that Congress pass legislation to restore components of the act that SCOTUS struck down. Ready for Hillary, in support of Hillary’s first foray back into policy issues, sent the petition out in an email today.
The Supreme Court recently struck down crucial provisions of the Voting Rights Act – opening the door to widespread voter disenfranchisement – and yesterday Hillary Clinton called for quick action to guarantee the right to vote for every citizen in this country.
Speaking before the American Bar Association, Hillary declared, “Anyone who says that racial discrimination is no longer a problem in American elections must not be paying attention.”
When it was first implemented, the Voting Rights Act was used to put a stop to poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and additional tactics that disenfranchised countless minority voters. Hillary noted, “The Department of Justice has used the law to block nearly 90 discriminatory changes to state and local election rules,” but “in the weeks since the ruling, we’ve seen an unseemly rush by previously covered jurisdictions to enact or enforce laws that will make it harder for millions of our fellow Americans to vote.”
We cannot allow this blatant voter suppression to continue. As Hillary said, “Congress should move quickly to pass legislation to replace those portions of the act that the court struck down.”
Yesterday, Hillary called for grassroots mobilization on this critical issue. She said, “Enforcing the Voting Rights Act has always depended on activists and advocates working at the grassroots level.”
This isn’t a Democratic or a Republican issue. Presidents of both parties have supported the Voting Rights Act. We need to ensure its protections live on.