For '60s civil rights leader, the march isn't over: WASHINGTON — John Lewis has been marching for voting rights for more than half a century — not long enough, he says, for the Supreme Court to decide that the finish line has been reached.
When he helped lead 600 people across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965, his fractured skull from an Alabama state trooper's nightstick served as a reminder that the march wasn't over.
When he was elected to Congress from the Atlanta area in 1986, African Americans' 4% representation served as a reminder that the march wasn't over.
Even when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 and re-elected last year, new laws in the South that made voting more difficult were proof to him that the march still wasn't over.
Don't try to tell Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., an icon of the civil rights movement, that the key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 can be retired in 2013 — something the Supreme Court will consider Wednesday.
"People ask me all the time whether the election of Barack Obama is a fulfillment of Dr. King's dream. I say no, it's just a down payment," Lewis, 73, says during an interview in his Capitol Hill office, cluttered with photos and memorabilia from the 1960s civil rights movement.