Martin Luther King Jr.’s family calls on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to ‘ensure that the Jim Crow filibuster does not stand in the way’ of voting rights
- Relatives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched Saturday in Arizona.
- They marched in support of expanding voting rights, a priority of Democrats.
- Martin Luther King III called on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema “to urgently pass federal voting rights legislation.”
Family members of the civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.’s organized in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday to call on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to support efforts to expand voting rights.
Martin Luther King III, the late civil rights leader’s eldest son, was joined Saturday by his wife, Arndrea Waters King, and by his daughter, Yolanda Renee King. Several prominent lawmakers were also in attendance, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and Rep. Joyce Beatty, an Ohio Democrat who serves as the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, according to a press release from Deliver for Voting Rights.
“Arizona, in one sense, is near ground zero, I say near because unfortunately, there are 19 states that have passed regressive laws, including our own state of Georgia,” King III told MSNBC’s Vaughn Hillyard on Saturday ahead of the rally.
He added: “And we believe that as it relates to getting this, these bills passed, that Senator Sinema has been one of the challenges. And so it made sense to come to Arizona. Some regressive laws, we feel, have been put in place that make it harder for people to vote.”
Ahead of the march Saturday, King III in a press release said the Saturday event was organized “to call on Senator Sinema to urgently pass federal voting rights legislation and ensure that the Jim Crow filibuster does not stand in the way,” The Hill reported.
After speeches, the King family led a march through the city of Phoenix, CNN journalist Sara Boxer reported on Twitter.
As Insider previously reported, Sinema, a Democrat representing Arizona, on Thursday took to the Senate floor reaffirmed her support for her support of the 60-vote threshold and her opposition to making changes to the Senate rules on a party-line basis.
Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have called for the elimination of the filibuster to allow Democrats, who hold a narrow majority in the Senate, to pass key legislative priorities — like the expansion of voting rights — without interference from members of the GOP.
House Democrats this week passed a pair of bills to advance voting rights. One of the bills is a sweeping voting-rights and democracy-reform bill while the other aims to refortify parts of the Voting Rights Act that were struck down or weakened by federal courts, Insider previously reported.
“These bills help treat the symptoms of the disease, but they do not fully address the disease itself,” Sinema said on Thursday. “And while I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country. The debate over the Senate’s 60-vote threshold shines a light on our broader challenges.”
King III earlier this week said history would remember Sinema “unkindly,” Insider previously reported.
“While Sen. Sinema remains stubborn in her ‘optimism,’ Black and Brown Americans are losing their right to vote,” said Martin Luther King III in a statement. “She’s siding with the legacy of Bull Connor and George Wallace instead of the legacy of my father and all those who fought to make real our democracy.”