Menendez Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) issued the following statement in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
“As we come together to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and honor his life-long legacy to make our nation more fair, equitable and inclusive, it’s impossible not to recognize his fight to defend the sacred right to vote. As Dr. King said, voting is one of humanity’s most powerful instruments for achieving progress. The rights he marched, organized and ultimately died for, are currently under a coordinated attack by Republicans in Washington and across the nation. In the last year alone, 19 states passed nearly three dozen laws undermining access to the ballot box.
“The time has come for us to defend and protect this fundamental right. The best way we can honor Dr. King’s legacy is by passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, even if the Senate rules need to be changed to do achieve this. If there was ever a cause worthy of receiving a simple majority vote in the United States Senate, it is this cause. For there are no other rights without the right to vote.
“Democratic self-government only works when both parties respect the legitimacy of the electoral process. That’s what elections are all about. We can argue about policy differences but the sanctity of the right to vote must not be up for debate. Our democracy relies on the principal that every American citizen should have an equal and unfettered right to vote. How shameful would it be if we let it slip through our fingers and be buried under a belief that Senate rules and traditions are more important than the fundamental voting rights of every American citizen.”