On Wednesday, the Senate continued debate on House-approved voting rights legislation to offset the dozens of voter suppression bills passed in Republican state legislatures over the course of last year.
A number of Democrats have likened the conservative voter suppression effort to Jim Crow, a post-Reconstruction collection of racist state laws in the South designed to subjugate and stigmatize Black Americans. Meanwhile, Republicans claim these bills aren't for the purpose of suppressing votes, but for protecting elections from overwhelmingly rare occurrences of fraud.
After Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina said these comparisons were "blatantly false," Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey delivered a blistering speech on the Senate floor, taking his Republican colleagues to task for downplaying the role racism plays in voter suppression efforts.
After listing the ways voter suppression laws passed last year disproportionately affect Black and Latino communities, Booker said:
"Don't lecture me about Jim Crow. I know this is not 1965. That's what makes me so outraged. It's 2022, and they're blatantly removing more polling places from the counties where Black and Latinos are overrepresented. I'm not making that up. That is a fact. I'm not gonna stop, because I'm tired of hearing that this does not have to do about singling out certain populations in our country—students, Native Americans—and not others."
Social media users heartily agreed.
Republicans continue to face backlash for their continued defense of voter suppression.
But thanks to the Senate filibuster—and Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema's and Joe Manchin's support of it—voting rights legislation almost certainly won't pass.