Voter disenfranchisement does not only occur in states with a history of discrimination. The 2012 elections saw the attempt to disenfranchise voters taken to a whole new level -- with voter ID laws, cutting off early voting in certain areas, end to same-day registration and measures making it harder to register large groups of voters.
Twenty-two states have passed new voting-restriction laws, and advocates are fighting back in court. We must continue to support free and fair voting for all Americans, and to honor the civil rights pioneers who came before us.
Here is a novel idea: Instead of looking for ways to keep people from voting, we should be looking for ways to break down barriers for all people to fully participate in our democracy. Voting is a fundamental right given to us by the Constitution, a right that must not be abridged.
On this day, let us remember that the march for justice is not over. Our nation is again deeply divided. And there are many who continue to suffer because of deeply embedded bigotry and hate.
Today we felt the embrace of a million people in all the diversity of the rainbow as we marched down San Francisco's Market Street and shared our wide-eyed memories of childhood conversations of Uncle Harvey (Milk) in New York and of Mom, "Little Nancy" in Maryland.
Voting is not a privilege; it's the fundamental right of a democracy. We should be doing everything we can to protect that right, not restrict it.
The nation's first case to test the might of Section 2 against voter ID laws, the Wisconsin case has set a legal precedent for how voter ID laws in other states can be defeated. What happens next in the state has implications for the entire country.
Anniversaries are normally a cause for celebration. But there is no joy in Latino communities across the country over this week's one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court Case case known as Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder.
One year ago, a majority of Supreme Court justices weakened the federal government's ability to prevent voter discrimination. In a sweeping decision, they decimated the Voting Rights Act.
With a record number of female candidates running and with women making up 53 percent of the vote, we were able to elect a record number of women to Congress. My hope is that we can do this once again in 2014. Because this isn't just about numbers -- it's also about policies.
Republican presidents signed the last three extensions of the VRA, ensuring continuous protection for all Americans. It is that history of support for the Voting Rights Act that makes it so particularly discouraging that the new bipartisan legislation to modernize the act.
The Supreme Court has made some very bad calls when it comes to protecting the rights of all Americans to participate meaningfully in our political system. But Justice Ginsburg is right: These wrong-headed decisions shouldn't have staying power. And if the American people have anything to do with it, they won't.
Taxpayers are paying thousands of dollars to send people to prisons when the fines are less than the cost of incarceration. Some counties even brag about the amount of money raised from fines, but they are using false math.
Hopefully, favorable progress will continue, and on subsequent anniversaries, voting rights advocates will be able to look back on Shelby County as an example of losing the battle, but winning the war.
Fifty years later we must make a sacred pledge to honor this legacy by recommitting ourselves to those ideals that James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner lost their lives on behalf of all of us who are alive today.
The problem isn't complicated. Access to the vote is not about politics; it's about justice and equality.