Senator Cornyn: Voting Rights Act Amendment Ignores Texas’ Progress

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today spoke at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on amending the Voting Rights Act to unconstitutionally force Texas back under federal preclearance to change its voting laws.

The full exchange can be seen here. Excerpts of his remarks are below.

Senator Cornyn: “Do you know of whether the Department of Justice requires a photo identification before you are admitted into that building?”

Mr. Michael Carvin: “Yes. You can’t get into a court or the Justice Department absent a photo ID.”

Sen. Cornyn: “And yet, this Attorney General in this Justice Department takes the position that even a free identification issued by the state of Texas, somehow, is discriminatory. Isn’t that their position?”

Mr. Carvin: “Yes, and that has been their consistent position.”

Sen. Cornyn: “So rather than suggesting that the states that have come so far, thankfully, in remedying past discrimination, when it comes to voting rights, the suggestion made in this legislation is we need to presume that four states that would be covered by the formula are guilty until they can prove their innocence, in spite of the fact that this law proposed is clearly unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s precedence.

“So I hope we will stay with our previous commitment to nonpartisanship when it comes to vindicating voting rights; that we will actually take a moment to celebrate the great advances that have been made in this country. Not to suggest, as Dr. Johnson said, that discrimination doesn’t still exist. When it does, there are tools available and we are all committed on a bipartisan basis to use those tools whenever and wherever we can to vindicate the right of each and every American citizen to cast a ballot for their chosen candidate.”



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