Biden in a recent speech at the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, so named after a reputed Ku Klux Klan leader, invoked images from Selma’s “Bloody Sunday” a key moment in both the civil rights movement and the U.S. history to state that he has so far not been able to push enhanced voting protections through Congress. He has further added that the conservative-leaning Supreme Court has undermined a landmark voting law.
During his speech, Biden stated that the right to vote is “under assault” after over the past few years, the Supreme Court destroyed the Voting Rights Act. He further added that since the 2020 presidential election, many states have created anti-voting laws which have been “fueled by the ‘Big Lie.’” This he concluded has also led to a number of election deniers being elected to office in the past few years.
During his 2020 campaign, Biden had vowed to pass legislation that would increase voting protection rights. However, in 2021, his legislation named after civil rights leader John Lewis failed to meet the 60-vote threshold in Congress despite having passed through the at the time Democratic-controlled House. This type of legislation is more unlikely to pass now as control of the House has switched.
Biden pressed that getting the votes in Congress is imperative, but thus far there is no path to getting the necessary support.
This particular trip to Selma was an opportunity for Biden to speak to current civil rights activists, Many of whom have felt disappointed over the lack of progress on more extensive voting rights protection.