Today in our nation's capital, President Obama helped unveil a new statue dedicated to civil rights icon Rosa Parks. Civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the fight to ensure African Americans in our nation were no longer denied the right to vote. Yet on the very day this historic statue is unveiled, lawyers for Shelby County, Alabama tried to convince the Supreme Court that racial bias is a thing of the past.
Section 5 of The Voting Rights Act requires Alabama, and 15 other states, to get Justice Department approval before making any changes in existing voting laws. The "Pre-Clearance" requirement became law because of a long history of those states trying to block minority voters from the polls. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been upheld numerous times, and even expanded under Republican presidents like Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.
This challenge to the Voting Rights Act is just one of many Republican attempts to undermine our democratic process. And, after the discriminatory ID laws and long lines we saw at the polls in the most recent election, it's clear that we need more protection of our voting rights – not less. We shouldn't remove this requirement in the 16 states covered under the law, we should expand it to every state in our nation.
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said a half century ago, “we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” We can help make his dream a reality, by eliminating the Republican's power to manipulate our elections. And we can do it by moving to a national popular vote. Let's take control of our democratic process, and remind our leaders that they work for us. Stand up for your voting rights, and go to NationalPopularVote.com
Listen to The Thom Hartmann Program Monday through Friday 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL AM 1600.