Leahy Hails Passage Of Senate Resolution Honoring Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks

WASHINGTON (Thursday, December 20, 2012) – The Senate unanimously passed Wednesday night a resolution observing the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks, the civil rights icon whose heroism helped inspire the civil rights movement. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was a leader in championing the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006.

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),
on the Passage of a Senate Resolution Observing the 100th Birthday of Rosa Parks
December 19, 2012




I am pleased the Senate has passed S.Res.618, a resolution observing the 100th birthday of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, and commemorating her legacy.  It is hard to believe that 57 years have passed since Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a public bus, a heroic act for a young woman from Tuskegee, Alabama, who joined so many in the fight for civil rights.  I am proud of the progress this country has made toward equality for all, in large part thanks to the work and inspiration of leaders like Rosa Parks, although we as a Nation have more work to do. 

Rosa’s brave act of defiance inspired a city-wide boycott and national movement, and she remains an important symbol of the civil rights movement to this day.  Her legacy reminds Vermonters and Americans all over the country that one brave voice or action can shine a light on injustice and challenge society to accept nothing less than freedom and equality for all mankind. 

In 2006 I was proud to work to reauthorize one of the most important civil rights laws in our history and to have that voting rights legislation bare Rosa Parks’ name.  Unfortunately, some are trying to overturn that protective and important law despite the continuing threat to the right to vote.  As we commemorate her birth 100 years ago, I hope we can all agree that threats to civil rights are not a relic of the past.  To honor Rosa Parks’ memory, we must continue to fight to ensure that all Americans can vote and have their vote counted.  I thank Senator Levin for introducing this resolution and am proud to join him in commemorating the legacy of Rosa Parks.

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