CNN Celebrates Professor Lecturing Ted Cruz on ‘Racist’ TX Voter ID Law

News & Politics

CNN celebrated a law professor in a congressional hearing yesterday telling Senator Ted Cruz that Texas’s voter ID law was “racist.” 

During a Senate hearing on “restoring the Voting Rights Act” Wednesday, Democrats called on liberal law professors like USC’s Franita Tolson to make their case that Texas’s law requiring voters show identification that they are who they say they are before voting was somehow racist to blacks and Latinos.

On CNN’s New Day Thursday morning, co-host John Berman brought on Tolson, who’s also an elections analyst for the network, to praise her for sticking it to Cruz.

Berman hailed Tolson going “toe to toe” in a “fiery exchange” with Cruz over Texas’s voter ID law. He played the clip, teasing it like it was a wrestling match: “A college professor joins us next on her face-off with Senator Ted Cruz,” he touted.

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In the clip shown, Cruz asks Tolson the straightforward question: are voter ID laws “racist”? 

After Tolson told the Republican it “depends” Cruz followed up by asking her to back up her claims. That’s when her clearly partisan positions were revealed:

CRUZ:  So what voter I.D. Laws are racist? 

TOLSON: Apologies, Senator Cruz, your state of Texas. I’m not saying the entire state of Texas. 

CRUZ: You said my state of Texas. You tell me about the Texas voter I.D. Laws that are racist. 

TOLSON: The fact the law was put in place to diminish the political power of Latinos with racist intent and have been found to have – 

CRUZ: You’re asserting that. What is the evidence of that? 

TOLSON: The federal district court that first resolved the constitutionality of Texas’ voter I.D. Law. 

Right after this in the clip shown, two other Democrat witnesses agreed with Tolson that voter ID laws can be racist. Berman marveled at the liberal professors and lawyers schooling the Republican, suggesting to Tolson Cruz had ulterior motives, which the CNN election analyst agreed with:

BERMAN: Joining us is the professor who brought receipts, Franita Tolson, CNN election analyst and vice Dean of USC law school. Dean, thank you so much for being with us. I’m going to ask you to do the impossible here. But put yourself in the senator’s brain, Ted Cruz’s brain there, what do you think he was trying to get out of that discussion? 

TOLSON: I think he wanted me and my colleagues to be in a fund-raising video, he wanted some sound bite of us saying voter I.D. Laws which he noted several times throughout the hearing, they have broad support, some sound bite that we think they’re racist and don’t further the cause of election integrity. I refuse to be a sound bite and my colleagues as well. 

But she’s perfectly fine with CNN using her words as a political soundbite?

Afterwards Berman tried to appeal to the other side, by pointing out even Stacey Abrams agrees with certain election integrity laws. He asked Tolson what voter ID laws weren’t racist: “What voter I.D. Laws — where is the line?” he asked.

Tolson argued that Texas’s voter ID law was too restrictive because it required a “limited” number of identification options like a driver’s license and you couldn’t use things like a student ID to vote. So somehow this was discriminatory: “And it is clearly targeted towards making it harder for the people more likely to have those I.D.s–the students of color and students more generally tend to skew toward the Democratic party.”

She bashed the Texas “regime” as racist: “So the entire regime is targeted to make it very difficult for minorities to get the I.D. That they actually need in order to cast a ballot. It does not have to be that way.” She added that it wasn’t just voter I.D. but racial discrimination was a “recurring problem” for the state.

Berman followed up by asking the Democrat witness what “compromise” could be reached. Tolson explained that voter ID laws need to be crafted with giving minorities “political power” to not be racist. 

Of course, there was no mention by Berman of those election experts who disagreed with Tolson. CNN didn’t play soundbites from the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, who also testified at the same hearing and “brought receipts” showing that the left’s hysteria over voter suppression is unfounded. But CNN doesn’t want its viewers to be informed or see both sides of an argument, they only want to hammer home a biased, Democrat agenda.

Read transcript below:

CNN New Day

9/23/21

JOHN BERMAN: A college professor joins us next on her face-off with Senator Ted Cruz. 

BERMAN: A law professor and CNN election law analyst went toe to toe with Senator Ted Cruz in a judiciary committee hearing in a fiery exchange about the Texas voter I.D. law. Listen. 

CRUZ: In your judgment, are voter I.D. laws, racist? Professor Tolson. 

PROF. FRANITA TOLSON: Thank you for that question. So it depends. One thing we have to stop doing is treating all voter I.D. laws as the same. 

CRUZ: I want to move quickly, so ‘it depends’ is your answer? 

TOLSON: Yes, that is my answer. 

CRUZ:  So what voter I.D. Laws are racist? 

TOLSON: Apologies, Senator Cruz, your state of Texas. I’m not saying the entire state of Texas. 

CRUZ: You said my state of Texas. You tell me about the Texas voter I.D. Laws that are racist. 

TOLSON: The fact the law was put in place to diminish the political power of Latinos with racist intent and have been found to have – 

CRUZ: You’re asserting that. What is the evidence of that? 

TOLSON: The federal district court that first resolved the constitutionality of Texas’ voter I.D. Law. 

CRUZ: Your view is voter I.D. Laws are racist. How about you, Mr. Yang? 

JOHN C. YANG, PRESIDENT, ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE: I agree with professor Tolson, voter I.D. laws can be racist. 

THOMAS SAENZ, PRESIDENT, COUNSEL, MEXICAN AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: There are some voter I.D. Laws that are racially discriminatory in intent. 

BERMAN: Joining us is the professor who brought receipts, Franita Tolson, CNN election analyst and vice Dean of USC law school. Dean, thank you so much for being with us. I’m going to ask you to do the impossible here. But put yourself in the senator’s brain, Ted Cruz’s brain there, what do you think he was trying to get out of that discussion? 

TOLSON: I think he wanted me and my colleagues to be in a fund-raising video, he wanted some sound bite of us saying voter I.D. Laws which he noted several times throughout the hearing, they have broad support, some sound bite that we think they’re racist and don’t further the cause of election integrity. I refuse to be a sound bite and my colleagues as well. 

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