If Hillary Clinton is to succeed in her second quest for the presidency, she’ll need to at least come close to matching President Obama’s performance with the groups that made up his most enthusiastic base: minorities and young voters. So over the next year and a half, expect to see Clinton continue to denounce the wave of restrictive voting rules that has often targeted non-whites and students. Already, the former secretary of state—sometimes criticized by progressives as overly cautious—has been relatively outspoken on the subject of voting rights. In a forceful 2013 speech to the American Bar Association (ABA), Clinton slammed the Supreme Court’s Shelby County ruling that year weakening the Voting Rights Act (VRA), called on Congress to fix the landmark law and urged the Obama administration to step up enforcement of voting rights cases.
Clinton’s solid record on voting rights suggests an emerging reality of modern partisan politics: With Republicans benefiting from a smaller electorate and Democrats from a larger one, vocally opposing strict voting rules and pushing to make voting easier have essentially become non-negotiable positions for any Democrat with national aspirations. That’s something Obama learned last year, when he responded to pressure from civil rights groups and others by forthrightly condemning Republican-led voting restrictions after, for a time, seeming to downplay the issue.
The ABA speech was one of a series of policy addresses Clinton gave in the summer and fall of 2013 as she began laying the groundwork for her candidacy.
“Anyone who says that racial discrimination is no longer a problem in American elections must not be paying attention,” Clinton said then, in a pointed response to Chief Justice John Roberts’s claim that a full-strength VRA is no longer needed because of the progress made by the south since the civil rights era. And she mocked the “phantom epidemic of voter fraud” that conservatives have used to justify voting restrictions.
Full Article: Hillary Clinton has been outspoken on voting rights | MSNBC.