John Lewis objects, and Paul Broun backs away from attempt to gut Voting Rights Act

My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington sends this report of a confrontation between two Georgia members of Congress that you may not have heard about:

Around 10 p.m. last night, as House debate over a contentious spending bill stretched on, Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, approached with an amendment to end all funding for U.S. Department of Justice enforcement of Section Five of the Voting Rights Act.

This is the provision that requires states like Georgia to submit new election laws – last year’s statewide redistricting, for instance — for federal approval to ensure against disenfranchisement of minorities.

Broun argued that this is a hammer held over only a few select states, and noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has suggested that the law has outlived its usefulness.

“It is also highly unfair, allowing some states to make changes to their election laws while other states wishing to make the same changes are forced to jump through a bunch of hoops,” Broun said. “I know firsthand how onerous this law is. My home state of Georgia, as an example, has long struggled with the U.S. Department of Justice over its voter identification laws.”

This did not sit well with Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta – a bona fide civil rights hero who was beaten during the Freedom Rides and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. He arrived minutes later to give a rousing speech and a rare slap at a fellow member of the Georgia delegation.

Lewis called Broun’s suggestion “shameful.”

“Maybe some of us need to study a little contemporary history dealing with the question of voting rights,” Lewis said, telling of how African-Americans were once forced to count the number of bubbles in a bar of soap or number of jelly beans in a jar in order to register to vote.

“People died for the right to vote – friends of mine, colleagues of mine,” Lewis said. “I speak out against this amendment.”

The amendment was also denounced by Republicans Frank Wolf of Virginia and Dan Lungren of California, who said there is a debate to be had over the Voting Rights Act – but it is something best hashed out in the courts and in committee hearings, not in a late-night amendment slipped into an appropriations bill.

Broun got the hint and withdrew his measure, assuring his colleagues that he intended no return to the bad ol’ days.

“I have the same dream that Martin Luther King had where people are accepted for their character and not any discrimination against their skin or their forefathers or anything else, and any insinuation that I would ever believe in any kind of discrimination or trying to suppress anyone from having their constitutionally given rights, I would contest that accusation, frankly. … I apologize to any hurt feelings that anyone has, because I certainly wasn’t meaning to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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23 comments Add your comment

heil molly

May 10th, 2012
2:47 pm

what a broun-shirt can do for you.

ki

May 10th, 2012
2:48 pm

Aquagirl

May 10th, 2012
2:50 pm

“I apologize to any hurt feelings that anyone has, because I certainly wasn’t meaning to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

80% whining about how you’re so attacked, followed by 20% non-apology apology. Twit.

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chamblee54

May 10th, 2012
3:02 pm

If Georgia ever goes majority black, it will be white people that want a voting rights act.
chamblee54

Joe Mama

May 10th, 2012
3:10 pm

Congressman Broun, meet the woodshed.

hiram

May 10th, 2012
3:11 pm

@ chamblee

You don’t have to worry about it going a majority black – blacks are self-destructing. But, it will go a majority Hispanic – blacks and non-Hispanic whites will be wanting a voting right’s act.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 10th, 2012
3:16 pm

Derrick Boazman @ 1380 waok radio asked a good question yesterday. How do you push black children toward excellence? The perverted integrationist audience @1380 waok couldn’t come close to the addressing that question correctly. 99.99% of black “adults” are so conditioned in the fantasy world that anyone with half of a brain can anticipate their answers e.g. some black children do not excel just like some white children do not excel. You know the drill. They are talking about incomparable apples and oranges unawares. But some of them sound intelligent…LOL

Like Presidential Medal of Freedom winner John Lewis, black children can’t authentically excel because they live integration induced fantasy lives which is controlled and manipulated by other races of people. In reality, it is impossible to win the Presidential Medal of Freedom given the deteriorated state of the black masses since 1963. So there it is Boazman. Under the present circumstances, it is impossible to have black children achieve authentic excellence in the real world because they are conditioned primarily by treacherous integrationist leaders like John Lewis to live fantasy lives in exchange for food, clothing, shelter, money, fame, status, employment, healthcare…

Amen?

Brosephus™

May 10th, 2012
3:18 pm

Lets you know what’s on the mind of some of Georgia’s finest. Instead of trying to create jobs, they’re trying to roll back voter protections. We live in a sad, sad time.

The Snark

May 10th, 2012
3:21 pm

Dude, you need to seriously dial back on the Oxycontin.

The Snark

May 10th, 2012
3:21 pm

Not you, Brosephus, the guy before you.

sandy

May 10th, 2012
3:28 pm

these two blow-hards need to get a room.

Joe Mama

May 10th, 2012
3:29 pm

Our @ 3:16 — What in the world are you trying to say?

Hazel

May 10th, 2012
3:31 pm

It would be nice if folk put their high school/college in their posts so we could evaluate the quality of their grads.

” I certainly wasn’t meaning to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

Brosephus™

May 10th, 2012
3:36 pm

Not you, Brosephus, the guy before you.

:)

If it’s not oxygen, I’m not sniffing it. ;)

deegee

May 10th, 2012
3:42 pm

That was like Chris Christie being told he needs a history lesson after insisting that black folks would have welcomed a referendum on Civil Rights back in the 1960s.

Georgia, The " New Mississippi "

May 10th, 2012
3:46 pm

Georgia Johnny Reb Morals………alive and well

Natasha

May 10th, 2012
3:46 pm

African-Americans comprise 14% of the entire US population. Can someone explain to me why people like Broun are so hell bent on keeping less than 20% of the population from voting? Seriously. How does disenfrancising African-Americans help you???? And what exactly does it help you do???

Joe Mama

May 10th, 2012
3:51 pm

Natasha, I don’t think it’s about disenfranchisement, at least not immediately. I think it’s more about removing court oversight so that Broun and people like him can *get away with* more disenfranchisement in the future. Getting GA out from under the VRA would just set the stage for even more of it.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 10th, 2012
3:51 pm

There it is Boazman… It’s in black and white before your eyes. If African Americans attempt to escape the integration induced fantasy world, enemies and ignorant people will work night and day to bring them back into the fold.

Just think what black children have to endure if they attempt to authentically express themselves outside of the integration induced fantasy world…It’s easy to see that your black child attempted to excel in the real world, these criminals will put them on drugs.

I focused my attention on black children. To a lesser degree, white children are forced to live in a fantasy world too…

Amen?

GaBlue

May 10th, 2012
4:09 pm

Joe Mama,

Exactly.

Edward Ruffin

May 11th, 2012
7:33 am

John Lewis has long outlived his usefulness as a Congressman, but the idiots in his district will elect him forever. The Voting Rights Act has dumbed down the voter lists so we have socialists, and various anti-Americans like Lewis, Obummer, Maxine Waters running this country into the ground. Voters need 2 basic qualifications: you should be able to read and write, and you should pay taxes. That along would vastly improve the quality of our elected officials.

S

May 11th, 2012
6:21 pm

John Lewis is an awesome congressman, thank God for John Lewis. I’m beginning to believe racism will never die but thanks to John Lewis people will not forget what injustice has been placed on the people of color. Paul Broun should be ashamed of himself.

Paul Broun on the other hand is a disgraceful congressman and an embarrassment for the State of Georgia, and hopefully will be booted out of office come election time. At least he had the sense to rescind his disgusting bill, which is actually surprising considering his past bungles.