Commissioner Abdur-Rahman hails passsage of John Lewis Bill, says ‘too much blood in the streets’

Fulton Commissioner hails House passage of John Lewis voting-rights bill, says Senate must follow suit

Statement of Fulton County Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman

“I applaud the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Tuesday in the House of Representatives. The bill passed the House 219-212 along party lines. It’s now time for the U.S. Senate to ‘deep-six’ the filibuster rule on voters’ rights legislation and pass this bill immediately and send it to President Biden’s desk.

If passed, the Act would restore the preclearance provisions of the 1985 Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court eroded in the 2013, landmark Shelby v. Holder case decision.

The preclearance part of the law required states and jurisdictions with histories of racial discrimination—particularly the Jim Crow South—to gain approval from the Department of Justice before implementing any changes to voting procedures. This would have curtailed—and likely prevented—the suppressive and oppressive Georgia SB202 from taking effect.

There is too much ‘blood on the street,’ for us to sit idly by now. In March 1965, a 26-year-old Lewis, along with Hosea Williams and others were brutally beaten by state and local police on what is now known as Bloody Sunday. Five months after the attack, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. Passing the John Lewis Act will put the teeth back into the 1965 law—and protect today’s voters.”

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