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Hillary Clinton urges work to protect voter rights

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meeting on June 14, 2013 in Chicago. The working meeting brings together leaders from business, foundation, NGO and government sectors to develop solutions that increase employment, advance access to education, strengthen energy security and promote an environment for business growth and innovation. UPI/Brian Kersey
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meeting on June 14, 2013 in Chicago. The working meeting brings together leaders from business, foundation, NGO and government sectors to develop solutions that increase employment, advance access to education, strengthen energy security and promote an environment for business growth and innovation. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for action to protect voter rights following the Supreme Court ruling allowing state voter ID laws.

In the first of a series of speeches she said would address some of the most critical issues facing the country, Clinton urged her audience in San Francisco Monday to fight voter identification laws in their communities and pleaded with members of a "gridlocked Congress" to enact legislation that would make it easier to vote, The New York Times reported.

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"Anyone who says racial discrimination is no longer a problem in American elections must not be paying attention," Clinton told the American Bar Association. "Our government cannot fully represent the people unless it has been fairly elected by them."

Clinton, as do many Democrats and voting rights groups, maintains the Supreme Court's ruling would restrict voters' participation, particularly among minorities, the poor and younger voters who typically vote for Democrats. Texas, Mississippi and Alabama -- all led by Republican legislatures and governors -- announced they would press forward with strict voter identification requirements after the court's ruling. On Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina signed a similar measure.

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Clinton was at the conference in San Francisco to accept the ABA Medal, which recognizes "distinguished service by a lawyer to the cause of American jurisprudence."

Clinton has said she wasn't interested in taking another run at the White House in the 2016 presidential race and has remained silent on the subject since leaving the secretary of state post. However, she has remained well ahead of any other Democrat in hypothetical polls.

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