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Biden: Selma beatings shaped him, nation

SELMA, Ala. (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden said nothing shaped his consciousness more than seeing TV footage of voting rights marchers being beaten by state troopers on Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965.

Biden traveled to Selma on Sunday to participate in the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. The event commemorates the 1965 march, which prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act and add millions of African-Americans to Southern voter rolls.

Biden said the beatings became a moment of clarity for the nation and made people realize the right to vote was not settled. Biden said challenges against voting for all continues today with the enactment of voter ID laws and restrictions on early voting.

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson says current threats to voting rights make this year's Bridge Crossing Jubilee more than a commemoration, because efforts to undercut the Voting Rights Act continue.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard a challenge last week to a provision that requires a Justice Department of review election law changes in states with a history of discrimination.


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