President Obama will call for the restoration of the Voting Rights Act on its 50th anniversary Thursday, the White House said.
Obama will hold a teleconference to commemorate the landmark legislation and call for its renewal, following a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that voided one of its central provisions.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who rose to prominence in the 1960s as a civil rights leader, will participate.
The event will allow Obama to draw a sharp contrast with Republicans, many of whom argue some provisions of the 1965 law went too far. It will take place on the same day as the first GOP presidential primary debate.
Asked about the timing of the event, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that “one person’s irony is another person’s serendipity.”
“Maybe there will be an opportunity for Republican candidates to discuss the right for every American to cast a vote,” he added.
As we learned in this week's Sunday Long Read, the Republican battle to destroy the Voting Rights Act has been a fifty year battle, and at this point they have won the right to disenfranchise millions. Unless the legislation's provision for keeping tabs on the 150 year effort to steal the vote from black voters over the years, it will only happen again and again.
Good for President Obama and AG Lynch to fight for this publicly, and call the Republicans out on this.