Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Over the last several decades, Congress has addressed some of our most pressing civil rights concerns by passing bipartisan legislation that protects American workers from discrimination on the basis of color, race, religion, age, disability and sex. Our civil rights laws have strengthened our country, and brought us closer to the Beloved Community where all people are able to succeed based on their abilities, not on the labels used to limit them.
We have taken some stumbles backward in recent years. The Supreme Court has weakened some of these basic protections in ways that Congress never intended. They have undermined the protections for workers, for older Americans, for the disabled, for racial and ethnic minorities, for women and for those in the military. We must work together to restore those rights.
But we have also taken some wonderful steps forward recently with the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, repealing the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy, all of which I was happy to vote for.
The struggle for civil rights and human rights is bigger than one law, one vote, or one judicial decision. It’s beyond one presidential term or act of Congress. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, and each generation, each citizen, each president and each member of Congress must do his or her part. It has always required ordinary men and women with extraordinary vision, who have helped build this democracy. Together all of our efforts comprise the struggle of a nation to build the Beloved Community, a nation at peace with itself, that respects the worth and dignity of each and every human being.
More on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Today during a news conference calling attention to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision that “gutted” the Voting Rights Act, Rep. John Lewis made the following statement:
“I have said this before, and I will say it again. The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy.
WASHINGTON – In the United States, there are more than 400,000 children in the child welfare system. Of these foster youth, over 100,000 children eagerly await a permanent family. Unfortunately, LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the foster care system. An estimated 30 percent of foster youth identify as LGBTQ, and they are more likely to experience poor treatment, discrimination, or violence while in care.
WASHINGTON - Rep. John Lewis (GA) is one of the co-authors of the Voter Empowerment Act, included nearly in its entirety in H.R. 1, the For the People Act adopted by the House of Representatives by a vote of 234-193.
WASHINGTON, DC – Lead sponsors Rep. John Lewis (GA-5), House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5), Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-6), and Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) reintroduced the Voter Empowerment Act (H.R. 1275) in the House of Representatives yesterday. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will introduce a companion version in the Senate.
I join my colleagues in adamantly opposing the nomination of Thomas Farr to the U.S. District Court. The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful tool of non-violent reform available to every citizen in our democracy.
I applaud Mayor Bottoms’ decision to end the City of Atlanta’s contract with U.S.
“Today, on the 53rd anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by President Lyndon Johnson, we celebrate a milestone in American history. With the stroke of a pen, millions of Americans were ushered into the democratic process. In 1964 in Holmes County, Mississippi, there were only twelve black registered voters. By 1965, there were 28,500, and by 1984 there were 406,000.
The results of the ACLU’s test of Amazon’s “Rekognition” software are deeply troubling. As a society, we need technology to help resolve human problems, not to add to the mountain of injustices presently facing of people of color in this country.
Black and brown people are already unjustly targeted through a discriminatory sentencing system that has led to mass incarceration and devastated millions of families. The poor are already ensnared by the complications of a judiciary that leads the innocent to plead guilty because they can find no other way out.
WASHINGTON – Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) made the following statement today upon introduction of the Higher Education Dream Act (H.R.6525), his bill to prohibit discrimination against Dreamer students in higher education.
“Young people are our nation’s future, and we must allow them every chance to succeed. The Higher Education Dream Act will ensure our colleges and universities reflect the United States’ commitment to justice and equality.
I want to thank my friend, the Gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern) for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to oppose this rule and to support the previous question.
In a democracy, the right to vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have. Many people marched and protested for the right to vote. Some gave a little blood, and others lost their lives.