Law professor tells Ted Cruz Texas’ voter ID law is racist in fiery hearing exchange

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Cruz had asked Franita Tolson, the vice dean for school and educational affairs and a law professor at the College of Southern California, if she located voter ID regulations racist.

After Tolson responded that it “is dependent,” Cruz asked specifically, “What voter ID laws are racist?”

“Apologies Mr. Cruz, your condition of Texas, most likely,” Tolson responded.

Texas has between the strictest voting guidelines in the nation, and the condition has been subject matter to national scrutiny in modern months soon after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a monthly bill that bans 24-hour and drive-thru voting, imposes new hurdles on mail-in ballots and empowers partisan poll watchers.

The state’s voter ID legislation, which handed in 2011 and went into influence in 2013 soon after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 determination in Shelby County v. Holder, needed voters to current govt-issued photograph IDs, this kind of as a condition driver’s license, a Texas election identification certification, a US passport or a armed service identification card.

Supporters said requiring picture IDs before casting a vote would stop voter fraud. Critics, on the other hand, argued the regulation disenfranchised bad and minority voters, who encounter issues getting IDs.

A federal court docket had blocked the measure for the duration of the 2016 election, but lawmakers set in spot a 2nd measure — Senate Monthly bill 5 — that allowed voters who experienced no picture ID to vote by signing a declaration and delivering supporting documentation.

Asked by Cruz on Wednesday what built Texas’ voter ID legislation racist, Tolson responded: “The truth that the voter ID law was place into place to diminish the political power of Latinos with racist intent.”

Outside of Texas, Republican-managed states throughout the nation have seized on previous President Donald Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud and clamped down on accessibility to the ballot box this 12 months. Currently, Florida, Georgia and other states have enacted new restrictive voting legislation.

Passing new voting legislation in Congress will practically unquestionably call for altering filibuster principles, given that Democrats’ slim greater part in the Senate is just not more than enough to conquer GOP opposition — and it truly is not very clear Democrat have the votes to move a invoice anyway. Final week, Senate Democrats proposed new legislation to overhaul voting laws soon after months of conversations to get all 50 of their associates powering a solitary monthly bill, and the new proposal is anticipated to appear up for a procedural vote before long.