FederalTexas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Arrested for Obstructing Entryway During Election Reform Protest

During a protest against the Senate's lack of approval of the For the People Act, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee was arrested for blocking an office entryway.
July 30, 2021
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18) was arrested on Thursday for obstructing entry into the Senate Hart Office Building during a protest in favor of the election reform For the People Act.

A case filing on the D.C. Superior Court’s website says the arresting charge is “Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding.”

“I engaged in civil disobedience today in front of the Hart building,” Jackson Lee said in a video statement posted to Twitter. “And I was arrested.”

The For the People Act is Congressional Democrats’ response to various GOP-led election reform bills across the states — including in Texas.

It would require states to create independent redistricting commissions rather than leaving that responsibility to the legislatures; mandates automatic and same-day voter registration; and limits the ability of states to remove voters from their rolls.

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The bill passed the House of Representatives in March but hasn’t moved in the Senate.

A video posted to Facebook by Jackson Lee shows a group of protesters, the congresswoman among them, amassing in front of the building’s entryway and chanting “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.”

Capitol police officers can be seen in the video warning the protesters multiple times that they will be arrested if they did not abandon the entryway.

Eventually, Jackson Lee along with a few others were taken into custody.

Jackson Lee said of the incident after the arrest, “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 to do more.”

This occurs while Texas Democrats are holed up in the nation’s capital breaking quorum to stop Texas’ election reform bill backed by state leaders.

A few of those Democrats this week testified in front of a congressional oversight subcommittee along with one Texas Republican on the Lone Star State’s proposed law.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.