To honor John Lewis, pass Voting Rights Bill
The greatest tribute that could be paid to Congressman John Lewis: Pass the voting rights bill now before the U.S. Senate (“U.S. Senate should pass new Voting Rights Act in honor of John Lewis,” July 21).
Why do we need this bill? The Supreme Court gutted the enforcement provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which required states with a history of voting rights violations to get preclearance from the Department of Justice before adopting changes to their voting laws or practices.
In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”
H. R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019, passed the House of Representatives on December 6, 2019. The only action taken on H.R. 4 by the Senate has been to refer it to the Judiciary Committee.
Perhaps Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham will be moved by this statement from a colleague on the passing of Congressman Lewis.
“I will never forget joining hands with John as members of Congress sang We Shall Overcome at a 2008 ceremony honoring his friend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It could not have been more humbling to consider what he had suffered and sacrificed so those words could be sung in that place.”
Who offered those words? Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Delegate Samuel I. “Sandy” Rosenberg, Baltimore
The writer is the Maryland state delegate for 41st legislative district in Baltimore City.