Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said she was arrested on Thursday by Capitol Police during a protest on voting rights, becoming the third lawmaker to be arrested in recent weeks while participating in a pro-voting rights demonstration in Washington.
“Yes, I engaged in civil disobedience in front of the Hart (Senate Office) Building in Washington, DC, and I was arrested,” Jackson Lee said in a recorded statement provided to CNN.
“Any action that is a peaceful action of civil disobedience is worthy and more to push all of us to do better and to do more and to pass (HR) 1, S 1 and to pass the John Robert Lewis Voting Rights Act,” the Texas Democrat added in part.
She continued: “The people of Texas are desperate and need it. The people of America are desperate and need it.”
In a video of the incident posted to Jackson Lee’s Twitter account, the congresswoman can be seen getting her hands restrained by an officer before being led into a police vehicle. Jackson Lee, who was arrested along with several other protesters, had been standing outside of the Senate office building with a group of protesters and speakers when Capitol Police ordered the crowd to move away from the area.
CNN has reached out to USCP for comment on Jackson Lee’s arrest.
Last week, Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia was arrested by Capitol Police during a protest on “Senate inaction on voting rights legislation.” And earlier this month, Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Democrat and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, was arrested by Capitol Police after participating in a voting rights protest that culminated in a march inside the Hart building atrium.
All three protests centered on protecting voting rights and passing the For the People Act. The Democratic legislation passed the House earlier this year, but Senate Republicans blocked the legislation in late June. Democrats have pushed the bill as a way to address the raft of voting restrictions being advanced by GOP state lawmakers nationwide.
In a separate tweet on Thursday that included a photo of her arrest, Jackson Lee wrote: “I will NEVER stop fighting for Voting Rights! The time is NOW to move the voting rights bills in the US Senate forward!! Enough is enough. #GoodTrouble.”
The Texas Democratic Party said later Thursday that they stand by Jackson Lee “as she faces arrest for protesting to defend our right to vote.”
“Throughout history, Black women like Rep. Jackson Lee have led the way on civil and voting rights issues, and today, as we face the greatest civil rights struggles of our time, Black women remain the leaders at the heart of this fight,” Jamarr Brown, the co-executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, said in a statement.
“Throughout history, Black women like Rep. Jackson Lee have led the way on civil and voting rights issues, and today, as we face the greatest civil rights struggles of our time, Black women remain the leaders at the heart of this fight,” the statement reads.
Eighteen states have enacted 30 new laws that make it harder to vote, according to a new tally by the liberal-leaning Brennan Center for Justice that tracks state activity through July 14.
Among the most common provisions, according to Brennan’s researchers: measures in seven states that either expand officials’ ability to purge voters from the registration rolls or put voters at risk of having their names improperly removed. Those laws were enacted in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas and Utah, the center found.
Three of the 18 states with new restrictions have passed sweeping, omnibus bills that cover a broad range of voting activity: Florida, Georgia and Iowa.
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