Obama Won’t Wait for Congress to Protect Americans’ Voting Rights

BY News Desk  August 28, 2013 at 6:34 PM EDT


In an interview with the PBS NewsHour, President Barack Obama said he will act to ensure voting rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Read the full transcript of the interview here.

President Barack Obama said while he intends to work with Congress to amend the Voting Rights Act, he intends to take steps within his administration to ensure voting rights for all Americans, if lawmakers don’t move quickly.

The president spoke with PBS NewsHour senior correspondents Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill in the Blue Room at the White House, after delivering the final speech at the 50th anniversary celebration for the March on Washington.

“I will be working with people like John Lewis in reaching out to both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to see if Congress is prepared to amend the Voting Rights Act to ensure that people are not being prevented from voting,” the president said.

“But Congress doesn’t move real quickly around here, and if we can go ahead and move administratively so that our attorney general can go ahead in jurisdictions that seem to be intent on preventing people from voting and that have a racial element to it, even though largely it’s probably for partisan reasons, then we need to go ahead and – and enforce the law. And the Voting rights Act has a number of tools. Section 4, which was struck down, was not the only tool available.”


Find the transcript of the entire interview with President Barack Obama here.