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Decades before President Biden asked senators on Tuesday if they were “on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?” he voted to restore the U.S. citizenship of the president of the Confederacy, according to a report.
Biden used the reference during a fiery speech in Atlanta, encouraging Democrats to go around the filibuster to pass federal voting rights legislation, which he said would be a “turning point in this nation’s history.”
Republicans say voting laws should be left up to the states.
But in 1977, Biden was part of the Senate Judiciary Committee when it unanimously voted to have Davis’ citizenship restored, according to the Washington Examiner.
The bill was later signed into law by then-President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat.
President Joe Biden speaks in support of changing the Senate filibuster rules to ensure the right to vote is defended, at Atlanta University Center Consortium, on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Atlanta. (Associated Press)
In 1876, Congress refused to reinstate Davis’ citizenship after the Civil War. He had been charged with treason