President Lyndon Johnson used all of his political skills, know-how and capital when he sent the act to Congress on March 17, 1965, and ushered it through the process. Johnson signed it into law in the presence of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Gonzalez and other civil rights leaders.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is using millions of state dollars, at a time when we are struggling to fund education, to undo Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
What would LBJ say to Greg Abbott?
Abbott’s goal is to implement the chilling Texas Voter ID Law, which was denied pre-clearance by the Department of Justice, at any cost.
….can’t help but wonder what LBJ, a proud Texan, would think of the ongoing attempts by Republicans — and increasingly by Republicans from his home state — to overturn these civil rights victories.
LBJ was dedicated to the fight for civil rights, and the passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act were the defining victories of his presidency.
LBJ would no doubt recognize that the state is using taxpayers’ money and the valuable time of elected officials to conduct political maneuvers that are regressive. Filing lawsuits against the federal government (24 of them, so far) has become a near-obsession of Abbott and friends.
Often these increasingly heated state versus federal wars overshadow the fundamental issues at hand.
In the case of challenges to the Voting Rights Act, perhaps we should stop to think about the importance of accessible voting to the very existence of our democracy.
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