Statement On The Passing Of John Lewis

John Lewis was an American hero among us, a lodestar who drew us closer to our ideals. He was a dear friend and mentor to me on civil rights and so much else.

I felt honored when he called me his brother and when he came to Vermont last year for a night at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington that none of us will forget.  Our work together on the bill to restore the Voting Rights Act that I’ve introduced in the Senate, as John and others have done in the House, has also generated such profound and lifelong memories. 

This loss is felt so deeply by Marcelle and me and by so many in Vermont and across our nation.

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[NOTE:  John Lewis and Patrick Leahy have worked closely together in many ways and over several decades, including on the leading bill to remedy the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision, which gutted the Voting Rights Act.  Leahy is author and chief sponsor of that bill in the Senate -- the Voting Rights Advancement Act -- and John Lewis has been a leading supporter of the counterpart bill in the House.  Last year Leahy introduced John Lewis in his appearance at the Flynn Center in Burlington.  Leahy today has posted several photos of John Lewis on his Twitter and Instagram pages.]