The Washington Post

Obama, Holder meet with civil rights leaders

On Monday afternoon, President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. and Labor Secretary Tom Perez met with a coalition of civil rights leaders at the White House to emphasize the administration’s commitment to ensuring full access to the polls.

During the 45-minute meeting, the president told the advocates, which included leaders of African American, Hispanic and Asian groups, that they should report violations directly to the Justice Department, the advocates said.

The meeting follows the 5-4 decision of the Supreme Court last month to invalidate a key portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.“We’ve been assured by the president and the attorney general that they will continue to aggressively fight to protect the right of all Americans to vote,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who attended the meeting. “They are open to many of us on the ground to continue to use the Voting Rights Act – it is not dead -- and to be resources to bring any violation of voting rights directly to the Justice Department. We are very encouraged by that.”

Holder has already announced that the Justice Department would take aggressive steps in a number of voting rights cases around the nation, including a high-profile Texas redistricting case.

The civil rights leaders said they will hold a rally in Washington on Aug. 24 on the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington in 1963, at which they will launch a national voter registration and mobilization drive.

Alan Williams, a state representative in Florida who was at the White House meeting, noted that Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was slain last year in a case that drew national attention on race relations, would have turned 18 and been eligible to vote in 2014.

“That’s very sacred and it’s not lost on us,” Williams said. “We’re going to make sure that everyone has that opportunity.”

 

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
Republicans debated Saturday night. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
GOP candidates react to Justice Scalia's death
Quoted
I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn't speak Spanish.
Sen. Marco Rubio, attacking Sen. Ted Cruz in Saturday night's very heated GOP debate in South Carolina. Soon after, Cruz went on a tirade in Spanish.
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
The State's Andy Shain says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read

politics

post-politics

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.