VOTING RIGHTS

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings looks to lawyers to protect voting

Speaking six blocks from where he grew up in South Baltimore, Congressman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., “begged” lawyers to advance and protect voting rights in the nation.

US Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)

US Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)

“You as lawyers know, we’re in trouble,” Cummings said while speaking to civil rights, state and local government and housing attorneys at the American Bar Association 2019 Spring CLE Conference in Baltimore on April 12, sponsored by six ABA entities.  “The very rule of law is being challenged today to the nth degree,” he said.

Cummings shared personal reflections on the struggle for civil rights and the “ongoing struggle for universal civil rights and human dignity.”

As a child, Cummings says he marched to integrate a city pool. He said he was inspired to become a lawyer himself by the care and determination of the lawyer who led the effort to have all children treated fairly.

“That experience transformed my life,” he said.

Among all of today’s ongoing civil rights struggles, Cummings believes the most dangerous problem is voter suppression.

“Voter suppression remains a clear and present danger to the effective functioning of our democratic republic – and it must be stopped,” Cummings said.

He challenged lawyers to make sure that other “little Elijah’s” would have the opportunity to live in a democratic society.

He told the lawyers, “Without you we’re doomed.”

Programming at the CLE Spring Conference included sessions on mass incarceration, police brutality, affordable housing, domestic violence and voter turnout. 

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