CHICAGO, IL The dismal voting record of incumbent Rep. Bobby Rush has become a hot topic among voters in the 1st Congressional district as the mid-term election looms. Voter expressed disappointment after viewing a video of the embattled congressman apologizing, that went viral over the weekend, for his support of the Clinton Crime Bill. Many have noted, including Rush, that this bill created havoc in the community and was responsible for the loss of an entire generation. This revelation led to a closer look at Rush's voting record when it comes to issues related to the Black community.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

It has been five years since the Supreme Court sent the bill back to Congress for revision. In the 2013 decision the court declared the formula Congress had established to decide which states would have to submit to pre-clearance unconstitutional.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that the formula was obsolete because “things have changed dramatically” since the Voting Rights Act was first enacted in 1965. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her prescient dissent, “Throwing out pre-clearance when it has worked and is continuing to work … is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” Right after the decision, many states–including several that had been subject to pre-clearance–started enacting questionable election laws and procedures.

Rep. Bobby Rush, who has missed close to 20% of roll call, remained silent on this issue. The Democrat-led Congressional Black Caucus has been unable to pass H.R 2978 Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama, because they are in House minority.

Tribune endorsed long-shot, Jimmy Lee Tillman, II has made the re-authorization of the 1965 Voter Rights Act among the many issue he would champion in the House majority.

Tillman remarked to students at University of Chicago, “If elected, I will get the Voter Rights Act re-authorized.” He continued “Who will speak for Black America in the Black Caucus? Who will speak for Black America in the Majority Party? Who will speak for Black America in D.C.?”


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