Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable, praised President Biden on Tuesday for his stance that the filibuster in the Senate should be suspended when considering voting rights legislation.
Campbell lauded Biden’s “strong commitment” to protecting the right to vote during his speech Tuesday at the Atlanta University Center Consortium on the grounds of Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College.
“Since the beginning of this administration, we have urged the Biden-Harris administration to use every possible tool at his disposal and apply the full influence of the bully pulpit to advocate towards the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act,” Campbell said in a statement issued after the president’s speech.
“As we have seen today, on the heels of Martin Luther King holiday, that influence also includes taking that message to the communities most impacted by voter suppression and election subversion,” she said
Campbell noted since the 2020 election, legislators in 19 states, including Georgia, have enacted dozens of laws that restrict access to the ballot box. She said Black and brown voters are the target of the voter suppression laws.
“Republicans are engaging in the greatest roll back of voting rights since Reconstruction, and we cannot sit on the sidelines as they continue to deny millions of voters, mostly Black and brown, of their democratic right to vote,” she said.
Campbell denounced the filibuster — a political procedure that allows Congress members to indefinitely delay a piece of legislation for going to the floor by debate — as archaic and “standing in the way of protecting our constitutional rights, especially voting rights for all Americans.”
Referencing the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Trump contesting his loss in the 2020 presidential election, Campbell said, “as we are barely a year out from that dark day, Black women and allies will continue marching, advocating, protesting and pressuring the U.S. Senate to pass federal voting rights to protect our democracy from peril.”