The president named one of the most diverse cabinets ever but efforts to reform voting rights and other priorities are bogged down by legislative and legal obstacles

Defying the punishing August heat, the Rev Al Sharpton recently led a gathering thousands strong through the streets of the nation’s capital on the 58th anniversary of the March on Washington, when Martin Luther King Jr delivered his immortal I Have a Dream speech on that day in 1963.

Now, as then, there was an urgency to their march. In statehouses across the country, Republicans are proposing – and passing – new voter restrictions that activists say amount to the greatest erosion of voting rights since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, a crowning achievement of the civil rights movement.

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