During a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tried to defend the honor of his state by suggesting that the Texas voter suppression law passed earlier this year isn’t racist. But all he accomplished was making himself look like a clueless fool.
Cruz was questioning a panel of election experts about whether or not the new Texas voting law (along with its voter ID requirements) is inherently racist.
Franita Tolson, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, told Cruz that not all voter ID laws are the same because some allow for many forms of identification — student IDs, utility bills, etc. — while others such as the one in Texas only allow for a driver’s license to be used as “valid” ID. That makes it a form of poll tax, which is inherently biased against people of color and those of modest financial means.
That led Cruz to ask:
Tolson told him the Texas law was a perfect example of a racist voter ID law.
Cruz then tried to go at the matter another way, asking:
The professor corrected Cruz:
Trying to clarify and regain his footing, Cruz told Tolson:
Tolson reiterated what she’d already said and then expanded on her answer:
An incredulous Cruz queried:
And that’s when Professor Tolson let Cruz know he had just asked a question he should never have uttered:
Game, set, and match Professor Tolson.
But that wasn’t good enough for the Texas senator. He then compounded his humiliation by asking every witness if they thought the Texas voter ID law was indeed racist.
Every single one of them emphatically said yes.
Ted Cruz has a reputation of being a brilliant legal theorist who excelled at Princeton and later at Harvard. But he really should have known better than to defend a blatantly racist law. The fact that he didn’t suggests he’s not nearly as bright as advertised.