Liberal Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) – known for introducing articles of impeachment against former President Donald Trump in January – was arrested in Washington, D.C. on Thursday while taking part in a voting rights demonstration as Fox News reports.
Jackson Lee’s arrest makes for at least the third such incident involving a House Democrat in recent weeks, with Reps. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Joyce Beatty (D-OH) also having been taken into custody for taking part in similar events.
In the aftermath of her arrest, the 71-year-old Texan wrote on her Twitter account, “I will NEVER stop fighting for Voting Rights. The time is NOW to move the voting rights bills in the US Senate forward!! Enough is enough.” Those words were accompanied by a photo of Jackson Lee being led away from the protest by police with her wrists in zip ties.
Following her release from custody, the congresswoman posted a video message on social media discussing the events of the day and calling for the passage of voting rights legislation currently pending in Congress. “I engaged in civil disobedience today in the spirit of [the late Democrat Rep.] John Lewis in front of the Senate Hart Building and was arrested,” she captioned the post.
“I believe when you’re getting into good trouble, when you realize the 15th Amendment has guaranteed the fundamental right to vote, any action that is a peaceful action of civil disobedience is worthy and more to push all of us to do better and do more to pass H1S1 and to pass the John Robert Lewis Voting Rights Act,” Jackson Lee declared.
— Sheila Jackson Lee (@JacksonLeeTX18) July 29, 2021
The congresswoman made frequent use of the hashtag #GoodTrouble in her social media posts describing the demonstration and her arrest, referencing the term often used by Lewis, a longtime Georgia legislator and civil rights era icon. Lewis was known for urging citizens to court “good” or “necessary” trouble if critical change was to be effected on society, as the Daily Mail reminded readers.
As Houston ABC affiliate KTRK noted, Harris County [Texas] Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu said in a statement following Jackson Lee’s detention, “Congresswoman Lee understands we are at a pivotal moment in the history of our nation, where our sacred right to vote is under grave threat. She recognizes that we all must take action to protect this right.”
Though Democrats such as Jackson Lee continue to argue that the enhanced electoral safeguards being put into place in jurisdictions across the country in the wake of the controversial 2020 presidential race are designed to keep minority voters away from the polls, Republicans assert that they are simply attempting to raise barriers to fraud and restore Americans’ faith in the process through which our nation’s leaders are chosen.