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John Lewis: During The Shutdown Republicans Acted Like Pro-Segregation Politicians Of The 1950s

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis said Republicans who allowed the government to shut down over Obamacare reminded him of Southern politicians who signed the Southern Manifesto in 1956, which opposed the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that overturned segregation in schools.

Posted on October 29, 2013, at 11:57 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Rep. John Lewis said Tuesday that shutting down the government over Obamacare reminded him of the 1950s when Southern politicians signed a document in opposition to the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision.

"This reminded me of another period in our history not so long ago," Lewis said Tuesday at the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Obamacare.

As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis was one of the top leaders of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

The manifesto was signed by Southern Congressman and several governors in 1956. It said that the Supreme Court's 1954 decision, which overturned laws that allowed segregated schools, was "a clear abuse of judicial power."

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