Hillary Clinton attacks US Supreme Court ruling on voters’ rights
Speech is first high-profile engagement since leaving State Department
Once more titillating political pundits and junkies – who are calling odds on her joining the 2016 presidential contest – Hillary Clinton kicked off a series of speeches with an impassioned call for the protection of voting rights which she sees being eroded by conservative forces across the United States.
She was in part responding to a controversial Supreme Court ruling earlier this summer that effectively neutered the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This obliged states with dodgy records of assuring equal access for minorities to polling stations to seek pre-clearance from the federal government before tinkering with their election arrangements. Democrats from President Barack Obama on down and civil rights groups loudly condemned the change.
“Anyone who says racial discrimination is no longer a problem in American elections must not be paying attention,” Ms Clinton told the annual gathering of the American Bar Association on Monday night.
In several senses, it was a well-timed intervention. The national political stage is mostly open this week with the first family and members of Congresses on their August breaks. And she took the podium at the same time almost to the hour as the Republican Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, was signing into law what may be the most restrictive and oppressive set of voter ID measures anywhere in the country.
North Carolina, Texas and Florida have all moved since the Supreme Court ruling to toughen voter ID laws, allegedly to curb voter fraud even though there is scant evidence that it is a real problem. The North Carolina law will require all voters for the first time to show a picture driving licence at polling stations, will cut early voting by a full week and will no longer allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 by election day to register to vote early.
“Our government cannot fully represent the people unless it has been fairly elected by them,” Ms Clinton declared on Monday night. She meanwhile notified her audience that she has other big speeches up her sleeve – one, which she will deliver soon in Philadelphia, on the conflict between national intelligence surveillance and privacy and another on America’s place in global affairs.
Since leaving the State Department on 1 February, Ms Clinton has mostly laid low and it may not be until after mid-term congressional elections in November next year that she will reveal her true intentions regarding a possible presidential run. At the very least, however, she seems intent on keeping her political engines tuned and preventing any perception from developing that she is absent from the important debates of the time.
In her speech, Ms Clinton was voicing the concern of many in her party that the changes now being sought by conservative states like North Carolina are thinly disguised attempts to repress voting by people on the margins, who would normally vote Democrat.
“When he ran for governor, Pat McCrory pretended to be a moderate pragmatist,” a spokesman for the Democratic Governors’ Association said. “Today, he proved that he’s just another cynical, ultra-conservative ideologue intent on disenfranchising voters who might not be inclined to vote Republican.”
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
'This is what Islam tells us to do': A rare glimpse inside a Saudi Arabian prison – where Isis terrorists are showered with perks and privileges
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: Do you have a passion...
£12500 - £13520 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...
£14000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you seek a friendly workplac...
£30000 - £33000 per annum + bonus and pension: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst...