Hillary Clinton steers clear of Zimmerman case

Hillary Rodham Clinton will join with environmentalists to press for an end to elephant poaching (Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Hillary Clinton expressed sympathy Tuesday for those disappointed by the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, but she stopped short of weighing in on it.

“In a week that I know has brought heartache – deep, painful heartache to many across our country, the solidarity and solace you find here is all the more important,” the former secretary of state said at a conference hosted by the African American Delta Sigma Theta sorority in Washington, D.C. “My prayers are with the Martin family and with every family who has lost someone to violence. No mother, no father should ever have to fear for their child walking down a street in the United States.”

Clinton made only passing mention of potential civil rights charges being brought against Zimmerman, as many on the political left and in the black community are calling for. She did not weigh in on so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws, which Attorney General Eric Holder spoke out against Tuesday.

“As we move forward as we must, I hope this sisterhood will continue to be a (beacon) for justice and understanding,” Clinton said.

Holder addressed the same group Monday, saying he shared the concerns of those assembled over the killing of Trayvon Martin. He went further in remarks Tuesday to the NAACP in Florida, coming out against Stand Your Ground laws, which allow people feeling threatened to respond with greater force.

Clinton also weighed in on the Supreme Court’s recent decision to invalidate part of the Voting Rights Act – the part that determines which areas of the country require pre-clearance for electoral changes that could adversely affect minorities.

“For more than four decades, this law has helped overcome unconstitutional barriers to voting. Again and again it has demonstrated its essential role in protecting our freedoms,” Clinton said. “Now the law’s future is in real jeopardy, and so are the rights of millions of Americans.”

Clinton said Americans must urge Congress to replace the language that was struck down.

Clinton also mentioned laws being passed by Republican legislators to require identification or documentation to vote and said activists should make sure people have what’s required.

“If some elderly person doesn’t have a birth certificate … we have to make sure we have something that helps them meet whatever requirement they face,” Clinton said.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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