National: Fight over voting rights continues on Selma anniversary | USA Today
With tens of thousands of people expected to gather this weekend in Selma, Ala., to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a turning point in the American Civil Rights movement, activists hope to use the moment to turn the spotlight back on voting rights issues in the USA. President Obama will visit the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Saturday, joining living foot soldiers of the civil rights movement at the landmark. The bridge is where hundreds of peaceful protesters were brutally beaten on “Bloody Sunday” as they sought to end discriminatory tactics — such as poll taxes and arbitrary literacy tests — used by white officials to prevent African Americans from voting. The protesters of Selma ultimately prevailed, and the moment helped usher in the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. But in moves that activists call sweeping erosions of voting rights that disproportionately affect minority communities, several states have passed more stringent voter ID rules after the Supreme Court in 2013 struck down a key provision of the landmark legislation that was birthed with the blood and sweat of the Selma protesters.