Capitol Police officers arrested Democratic Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty and eight others for protesting in a restricted area in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday.
Beatty, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, led a group of protesters into the Hart Senate Office Building Atrium at about 3:30 pm, according to Capitol Police. The group chanted “end the filibuster,” and called on the Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which was introduced in the 116th Congress but has not been introduced in the 117th.
Police arrested nine people including Democratic Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, in a prohibited area on Capitol Grounds during a pro-voting rights demonstration pic.twitter.com/kWZjpJrwYz
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 15, 2021
“We’re here today because we will continue to come, and to stand up, to protect our voting rights. We will do this until we pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act,” Beatty said at a rally before the protest. “We have everything to lose.”
“We might as well still have the dogs and the hoses, because we don’t have the Voting Rights Act,” Beatty added.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would require that every state receive pre-clearance from the Department of Justice before it changes election laws. The Supreme Court struck down a provision requiring that some southern states receive pre-clearance in the 2013 case Shelby County v. Holder.
Former Virginia Attorney General and Department of Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli described the requirement as requiring federal permission for “mov[ing voting machines] from the cafeteria to the gym” during a Senate hearing Wednesday.
Republicans are expected to filibuster the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act should it come to the Senate floor for a vote. (RELATED: Manchin Meets With Republicans In Hopes Of Reaching Compromise On Voting Rights Bill)
You can arrest me. You can’t stop me. You can’t silence me.
— Joyce Beatty (@RepBeatty) July 15, 2021
“You can arrest me. You can’t stop me. You can’t silence me,” Beatty tweeted following her arrest.