Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was part of a hearing involving voting rights laws on Wednesday when he asked the expert panel whether the Texas voting laws or voter identification laws were racist. One by one, each expert explained to him that it was.
Franita Tolson, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, began by telling the senator that one major thing is that people shouldn't treat all voter I.D. laws the same. Understandably there are laws that allow for all forms of I.D. from student I.D.'s, utility bills, cell phone bills, or any other possible way to prove identity. Other states restrict voter I.D. to only being a driver's license. Technically, because driver's licenses cost money, that could be considered a poll tax.
For people who don't drive and don't have the money to update their driver's license, it becomes an illegal burden to vote.
"So, what voter I.D. laws are racist?" asked Cruz.
Tolson cited the Texas law.
"OK, so you think the entire state of Texas is racist," Cruz said. "What about requiring an I.D. to vote is racist."
"So, I think this is pretty reductive, sir. I didn't say that the entire state of Texas is racist," she replied.
"You just said my state of Texas!" Cruz said.
"Your voter I.D. law," she said.
"The voter I.D. law is," Cruz replied.
"Absolutely," she replied. "So, the fact that the voter I.D. law was put into place to diminish the power of Latinos with racist intent and was found to have racist intent."
"What's your evidence for that?" Cruz asked.
"The federal district court that first resolved the intentionality of Texas' voter I.D. law," she explained
Cruz moved on to the other speakers asking them one-by-one if they thought that voter I.D. laws were racist. All of them agreed.
See the video below: