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tv   Issue Spotlight on Campaign 2016 and Voting Rights  CSPAN  August 20, 2016 11:55pm-2:15am EDT

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>> up next, a look at timely subjects featuring programs on the video archives. votinggram focuses on rights and how laws are changing sense supreme court's decision in shelby. >> donald trump thinks the election is going to be rigged. and trump claims voter fraud lets people vote 10 times and rigged elections. mr. trump: you have to win this election. we have to win it. have to win. otherwise, our big movement was not as big as we thought. that is not good. that is why november 8, you've got to get everybody you know. and you know, know that there is voter id, a lot of places are
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not going to have photo id. what does that mean was marked you just keep walking in and voting? you have to be careful. >> "the hill" finding seven in 10 voters backing donald trump believe the election will have been rigged against him if he loses. but mr. obama called his assertions ridiculous. president obama: it is -- i don't even know where to start answering this question. of course the elections will not be rigged. what is that mean? the federal government doesn't run the election process. states and cities and communities all across the country, they are the ones who
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set up the voting systems and voting booths. if mr. trump is suggesting there is a conspiracy theory that is being propagated across the country, including in places like texas where typically it is not democrats who are in charge of voting booths, that is ridiculous. that doesn't a make any sense and i don't think anybody would take that seriously. we do take seriously as we always do our responsibilities to monitor and preserve the integrity of the voting process. if we see signs that a voting machine or system is vulnerable to hacking, we inform those local authorities who are running the elections they need to be careful. if we see jurisdictions that are violating federal laws, in terms
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of equal access, and are not providing rams for disabled voters or are discriminating some fashion or otherwise filing civil rights laws, the justice department will come in and take care of that. this will be an election like every other election. and i think all of us at some point in our lives played sports or maybe just played in a schoolyard. sometimes, if folks lose, they complain they got cheated. i have never heard about somebody complained about being cheated before the game was over. or before the score is even tallied. my suggestion would be, go out there and try to win the
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election. if mr. trump is up 10-15 points on election day and ends up losing, maybe he can raise some questions. that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment. >> the democratic nominee is also weighing in in a different way. a statement from hillary clinton earlier this month reads, 51 years after the voting rights law was signed into law, americans are now facing the most systematic effort to curtail those rights since the era of jim crowe. ms. clinton: we have a responsibility to say clearly and directly what is really going on in our country. because what is happening is a sweeping effort to disempower
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and disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people from one end of our country to the other. [applause] mrs. clinton: because since the supreme court eviscerated a key provision of the voting rights act, many of the states that previously faced special scrutiny because of a history of racial discrimination have proposed and passed new laws that make it harder than ever to vote. >> the new york times national correspondent, why is voting rights and issuing in the 2016 election? michael: it is an issue because in some of the states that could
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be battlegrounds, wisconsin and north carolina, there are laws that restrict the ability of certain people to vote. the basis for these laws, advocates say, is voter fraud. critics say, that is not the case. they are designed to affect parts of the population and disenfranchise them. this will be the first election since changes to the voting rights act. what impact is that going to have? michael: it is going to have a substantial impact in some states. they were covered by section five of the voting rights act. section five did a number of things. one which was especially important, required people in
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these jurisdictions when making changes and elections to submit them to the justice department for what they called preclearance approval. that was done thousands of times every year. the other thing in it was sent out election monitors to certain areas that qualified under justice department rules. they sent out 800 right before that section of the act was struck down in 11 or 12 states. that is going to be reduced to about five states now. >> in recent weeks, there have been headlines about voting laws like this one. alabama demands voter id. and your story, federal appeals court strikes down north carolina voter id requirements. what is going on? michael: the thrust of most of these laws is to require registered voters, when they
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come to the polls, to display some sort of id. driver's license, military id. and a couple of states, the license to carry a gun. if you have those with a photograph, you are a loud to vote every those are the strictest. the critics say these laws have been designed to target people who are least likely to have these ids. in the ruling in north carolina that struck down the voting laws there, the appeals court said the were specifically targeted at blacks, at students, at minorities who tend to vote predominantly democratic. so there are, studies have shown, hundreds of people across the country who either don't have these ids or have great difficulty getting them because they are poor.
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they are in rural areas. the argument by critics is these people are effectively disenfranchised. >> back to the supreme court case. what specifically did the justices say in that case? a lot of these actions across the country coming after this supreme court ruling. what specifically was their decision and that case? michael: the rationale was the voting rights act was passed in 1965 when discrimination was certainly pervasive. not just in the south. some of the areas covered by section five of the voting rights act were in new york, california. states that did not have a legacy of discrimination from the civil war. it wasn't just the south. the court concluded times had changed its 1965.
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this sort of pervasive discrimination no longer existed. and didn't justify what they would say was the intrusive nature of section five. this could now be handled by local courts, state courts, or local divisions of federal courts on a case-by-case basis. >> now we get a portion of that case. 20 minutes of the supreme court arguments. this starts with antonin scalia a asking questions about the process. >> we submit congress was not writing on a blank slate. the case depends on the proposition section five was a big success. justice scalia: maybe it was making that, but that is a problem i have. the court does not like to get involved in racial questions such as this. the problem is, that initial enactment, and the senate, it was double digits against it. that was only a five year term.
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it was reenacted. double digits against it. then it was reenacted for seven years. single digits against it. and then, for 25 years. eight senate vote against it. the last enactment, not a single vote in the senate against it. the house is pretty much the same. i don't think that is attributable to the fact that it is so much more clear that we need it. i think it is a phenomenon called perpetuation of cradle -- racial entitlement. when a society adapts them, it is difficult to get out of it. i don't think there is anything to be gained by any senator to vote against this act. i think i am fairly confident it will be reenacted in perpetuity unless the court can say it does not comport with the constitution.
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you have to show when you are treating different states differently there is a good reason for it. that is the concern those of us who have questions about the statute have. it is a concern this is not the kinds of question you can leave to congress. there are certain districts in
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the house that are black districts by law just about now. and even the virginia senators, they have no interest in voting against this. the state government is not their government, and they are going to lose -- they are going to lose votes if they do not reenact the voting rights act. even the name of it is wonderful -- the voting rights act. who is going to vote against that in the future? >> you have an extra 5 minutes. >> thank you. i may need it for that question. [laughter] >> justice scalia, there's a number of things to say. first, we are talking about the enforcement power that the constitution gives to the congress to make these judgments to ensure protection of fundamental rights. so this is -- this is a situation in which congress is given a power which is expressly given to it to act upon the states in their sovereign
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capacity. and it cannot have been lost on the framers of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments that the power congress was conferring on them was likely to be exercised in a differential manner because it was, the power was conferred to deal with the problems in the former states of the confederacy. so with respect to the constitutional grant of power, we do think it is a grant of power to congress to make these judgments, now of course subject to review by this court under the standard of northwest austin, which we agree is an appropriate standard. that's the first point. the second point is i do -- i do say with all due respect, i think it would be extraordinary to look behind the judgment of congress as expressed in the statutory findings, and -- and evaluate the judgment of congress on the basis of that sort of motive analysis, as
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opposed to -- >> we looked behind it in boerne. i'm not talking about dismissing it. i'm talking about looking at it to see whether it makes any sense. >> and -- but -- but i do think that the deference that congress is owed, as city of boerne said, "much deference" -- katzenbach said "much deference." that deference is appropriate because of the nature of the power that has been conferred here and because, frankly, of the superior institutional competence of congress to make these kinds of judgments. these are judgments that assess social conditions. these are predictive judgments about human behavior and they're predictive judgments about social conditions and human behavior about something that the people in congress know the most about, which is voting and the political process. and i would also say i understand your point about entrenchment, justice scalia,
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but certainly with respect to the senate, you just can't say that it's in everybody's interests -- that -- that the enforcement of section 5 is going to make it easier for some of those senators to win and it's going to make it harder for some of those senators to win. and yet they voted unanimously in favor of the statute. >> do you think the preclearance device could be enacted for the entire united states. >> i don't think there is a record that would substantiate that. but i do think congress was -- >> and that is because that there is a federalism interest in each state being responsible to ensure that it has a political system that acts in a democratic and a civil and a decent and a proper and a constitutional way. >> and we agree with that, we respect that, we acknowledge that northwest austin requires an inquiry into that. >> but if -- if alabama wants to have monuments to the heros of the civil rights movement, if it wants to acknowledge the wrongs of its past, is it better off doing that if it's an own independent sovereign or if it's under the trusteeship of the united states government? >> of course it would be better in the former situation. but with all due respect, your honor, everyone agrees that it was appropriate for -- for congress to have exercised this express constitutional authority when it did in 1965, and everybody agrees that it was the -- was the exercise of that authority that brought about the situation where we can now argue about whether it's still
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necessary. and the point, i think, is of fundamental importance here is that that history remains relevant. what congress did was make a cautious choice in 2006 that given the record before it and given the history, the more prudent course was to maintain the deterrent and constraining effect of section 5, even given the federalism costs, because, after all, what it protects is a right of fundamental importance that the constitution gives congress the express authority to protect through appropriate legislation. '>> before your time expires, i would like to make sure i understand your position on this as-applied versus facial issue. is it your position that this would be a different case if it were brought by, let's say, a county in alaska as opposed to shelby county, alabama? >> no. no. let me just try to articulate
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clearly what our -- what our position is. they've brought a facial challenge. we recognize that it's a facial challenge. we're defending it as a facial challenge, but our point is that the facial challenge can't succeed because they are able to point out that there may be some other jurisdictions that ought not to be appropriately covered, and that's especially true because there is a tailoring mechanism in the statute. and if the tailoring mechanism doesn't work, then jurisdictions that could make such a claim may well have an as-applied challenge. that's how we feel. >> thank you, general. >> thank you, mr. chief justice. >> the point is this. at least some of these states have a better record than those state that are out. in 1965, we had history. 200 years of slavery.
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80 years of legal segregation and 41 years of the statute and this has helped. congress in 2005 looks back and says, don't change horses in the middle of the stream because we still have a ways to go. the question is, is it rational to do that. people could differ on that. one thing to say is of course this is aimed at state. what do you think the civil war was about? of course it was aimed at treating some states differently than others. at some point, that historical and tactical -- practical, justification runs out. and the question is, has it run out now? you tell me, when does it run out? never? that's something you have heard people worried about. does it never run out? or does it run out, but not yet?
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or do we have a clear case where at least it doesn't run out now? now, i would like you to address that. >> fair enough, justice breyer. i think that the -- what the evidence shows before congress is that it hasn't run out yet. the whole purpose of this act is that we made progress and congress recognized the progress that we made. and, for example, they took away the examiner provision which was designed to address the registration problem. in terms of when we are there, i think it will be some point in the future. our great hope is that by the end of this next reauthorization we won't be there. indeed, there is an overlooked provision that says in 15 years, which is now 9 years from where i stand here today before you, congress should go back and look and see if it's still necessary. so we don't think that this needs to be there in perpetuity. but based on the record and a 2011 case in which a federal judge in alabama cited this
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court's opinion in northwest austin -- there were legislators that sit today that were caught on tape referring to african american voters as illiterates. their peers were referring to them as aborigines. and the judge, citing the northwest austin case -- it's the mcgregor case cited in our brief -- said that, yes, the south has changed and made progress, but some things remain stubbornly the same and the trained effort to deny african american voters the franchise is part of alabama's history to this very day. >> have there been episodes, egregious episodes of the kind you are talking about in states that are not covered? >> absolutely, chief justice roberts. >> well, then it doesn't seem to help you make the point that the differential between covered and noncovered continues to be justified. >> but the great weight of evidence -- i think that it's fair to look at -- on some level you have to look piece by piece, state by state. but you also have to step back and look at the great mosaic. this statute is in part about our march through history to keep promises that our constitution says for too long were unmet. and this court and congress have both taken these promises seriously.
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in light of the substantial evidence that was adduced by congress, it is reasonable for congress to make the decision that we need to stay the course so that we can turn the corner. to be fair, this statute cannot go on forever, but our experience teaches that six amendments to the constitution have had to be passed to ensure safeguards for the right to vote, and there are many federal laws. they protect uniform voters, some protect eligible voters who have not had the opportunity yet to register. but together these protections are important because our right to vote is what the united states constitution is about. >> thank you, counsel. mr. rein, 5 minutes. >> thank you, mr. chief justice. >> do you think that the right to vote is a racial entitlement in section 5? >> no.
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the fifteenth amendment protects the right of all to vote and -- >> i asked a different question. do you think section 5 was voted for because it was a racial entitlement? >> well, congress -- >> do you think there was no basis to find it -- >> may i say congress was reacting in 1964 to a problem of race discrimination which it thought was prevalent in certain jurisdictions. so to that extent, as the intervenor said, yes, it was intended to protect those who had been discriminated against. if i might say, i think that justice breyer -- >> do you think that racial discrimination in voting has ended, that there is none anywhere? >> i think that the world is not perfect. no one -- we are not arguing perfectibility. we are saying that there is no evidence that the jurisdictions that are called out by the formula are the places which are uniquely subject to that kind of
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problem -- >> but shouldn't -- >> we are not trying -- >> you've given me some statistics that alabama hasn't, but there are others that are very compelling that it has. why should we make the judgment, and not congress, about the types and forms of discrimination and the need to remedy them? >> may i answer that? number one, we are not looking at alabama in isolation. we are looking at alabama relative to other sovereign states. and coming to justice kennedy's point, the question has is alabama, even in isolation, and those other states reached the point where they ought to be given a chance, subject to section 2, subject to cases brought directly under the fifteenth amendment, to exercise their sovereignty -- >> how many other states have 240 successful section 2 and section 5 -- >> justice sotomayor, i could parse statistics, but we are not here to try alabama or massachusetts or any other state. the question is the validity of the formula. that's what brings alabama in. if you look at alabama, it has a number of black legislators proportionate to the black population of alabama. it hasn't had a section 5 rejection in a long period. i want to come to justice breyer's point because i think
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that -- i think he's on a somewhat different wavelength, which is isn't this a mere continuation? shouldn't the fact that we had it before mean, well, let's just try a little bit more until somebody is satisfied that the problem is cured? >> don't change horses. you renew what is in the past -- >> right. >> where it works, as long as the problem isn't solved. ok? >> well, and i think the problem to which the voting rights act was addressed is solved. you look at the registration, you look at the voting. that problem is solved on an absolute as well as a relative basis. so that's like saying if i detect that there is a disease afoot in the population in 1965 and i have a treatment, a radical treatment that may help cure that disease, when it comes to 2005 and i see a new disease or i think the old disease is gone, there is a new one, why not apply the old treatment? >> well, mr. rein -- >> i wouldn't -- >> that is the question, isn't it? you said the problem has been
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solved. but who gets to make that judgment really? is it you, is it the court, or is it congress? >> well, it is certainly not me. [laughter] >> that's a good answer. i was hoping you would say that. >> but i think the question is congress can examine it, congress makes a record, it is up to the court to determine whether the problem indeed has been solved and whether the new problem, if there is one -- >> well, that's a big, new power that you are giving us, that we have the power now to decide whether racial discrimination has been solved? i did not think that that fell within our bailiwick. >> i did not claim that power, justice kagan. what i said is, based on the record made by the congress, you have the power, and certainly it was recognized in northwest austin, to determine whether that record justifies the discrimination among -- >> but there is this difference, which i think is a key difference. you refer to the problem as the problem identified by the tool for picking out the states, which was literacy tests, et cetera. but i suspect the problem was the denial or abridgement by a state of the right to vote on the basis of race and color. and that test was a way of
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picking out places where that problem existed. now, if my version of the problem is the problem, it certainly is not solved. if your version of the problem, literacy tests, is the problem, well, you have a much stronger case. so how, in your opinion, do we decide what was the problem that congress was addressing in the voting rights act? >> i think you look at katzenbach and you look at the evidence within the four corners of the voting rights act. it responds to limited registration and voting as measured and the use of devices. the devices are gone. that problem has been resolved by the congress definitively. so it can't be the basis for further -- further legislation. i think what we are talking about here is that congress looks and says, well, we did solve that problem. as everyone agrees, it's been very effective, section 5 has done its work.
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people are registering and voting and, coming to justice scalia's point, senators who see that a very large group in the population has politically wedded themselves to section 5 are not going to vote against it, it will do them no good. and so i think, justice scalia, that evidence that everybody votes for it would suggest some of the efficacy of section 5. you have a different constituency from the constituency you had in 1964. but coming to the point, then if you think there is discrimination, you have to examine that nationwide. they didn't look at some of the problems of dilution and the like because they would have found them all over the place in 1965. but they weren't responding to that. they were responding to an acute situation where people could not register and vote. there was intentional denial of the rights under the fifteenth amendment. >> thank you, counsel. >> thank you. the case is submitted. >> you can hear all of that oral argument on c-span.org. the high court decided to strike
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down the section of the voting rights act requiring states to get preapproval of changes to their voting laws. in part, because congress did not provide evidence that racial discrimination was still happening in the districts. the judiciary committee held a hearing on what congress could do to fix that. >> thank you. i was troubled by the suggestion argument is they passed it because it has a nice name. mountainscause of the of evidence before congress but commitment to the 15th amendment.
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the voting rights act is one of consequentialmost achievements. it has improved the democratic process tremendously and i believe the law remains necessary today. justice ginsburg put it well in her dissent when she wrote and i " it is like the right way the umbrella and a rainstorm because you are not getting wet." i was disappointed with the decision and optimistic we could fix this because nobody really actutes the voting rights -- ready for the majority in ,helby county, justice roberts
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with great strides that we have taken as a nation. it still exists third nobody doubts that. it seems to me the question is not whether we need to voting rights act at all, the question is what form? we have touched on this already. want to get your response on this quote. this is from the house judiciary
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act.ttee, the 1965 heavy, it is too too serious and a damage to our national conscious is too great, not to adopt more effective edgers than exists today. d believe that statement is true? >> i do. i think it was right. matters have improved all over the country. i think there are still problems where existing tools do not address and for those problems, it is still too heavy for the existing tools to do with the need to do to ensure there is no discrimination. justice should never be
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expensive, it should never depend on an army of lawyers sweeping in and that is the situation we have. we are dependent on the need to find help wherever we can and congress has always recognized that is where it is not enough. today it congress is here , this committee is here today to start the process of another bipartisan effort to restore the recognition that waiting for help is not enough. >> that is exactly why we are here. >> the majority departed from established president for the standard of review under the saidamendment, the court
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that congress may use any rational means to effectuate the constitutional racial discrimination in voting. in other words, to overturn a statute in the 15th amendment, the court must find the statute is a rational. very differential. what are your thoughts and what review should we expect when it analyzes potential amendments for the voting rights act? >> you are right. it is difficult to know because they did not tell us. the prevailing standard was very differential and the court tossed out all the work commerce
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had done. and congress was the power embodied to enforce the 15th amendment and so it should be viewed rationally. any rational basis would suffice and the court seemed now to apply that standard. they said any steps congress takes asked to reflect current conditions. although i think it met this that, i think congress has the ability to compile current conditions that would more than all the rise steps to supplant, supplement the very important protections with more protections designed to ensure
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that there is no discrimination on the basis of rest. there is plenty of latitude to support whatever steps congress takes. gethank you maybe we can 16,000 pages. thank you. i yield. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i would like to thank all three witnesses. andve a couple of questions let me say we have known each other for a long time. my first job was working for you in a very small law firm. i commit to things -- number one, tell no tales. number two, hold you harmless from any mistakes i may make in this committee or elsewhere.
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i would like to ask your legal required inwhat is response to the shelby county decision. the supreme court noted congress had thousands of pages of records. -- court went on to say regardless of how to look at the record, no one could it showed anything of -- approaching the rampant discrimination enacting 65. clearly distinguished from the rest of the nation at that time. the question i want to start off with his what record? what record would congress they too create in order to come up with a new coverage formula that would be constitutional? made basicngress mistakes anin 2006.
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they gathered 15,000 pages of evidence but they did not use any of that to designate jurisdictions covered by section five. they relied on the literal which would be akin to the 1965 congress looking back at the calvin coolidge collection to see who should be covered. yet to look at whatever current information have and get rid of this outdated formula. -- whatnd founding problem is it curing that it is not prophylactic? i doubt you could make that argument. the one argument that was made , you that is not true is know from private practice -- it have to wait three or four electoral cycles.
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we all know those were brought forth in texas and it was illustrated. -- talking point about a challenge to an at-large system. and only deals with voting changes. only not have to do with the dilution technique which was employed in the deep south. .econd, challenging charleston they did not move for preliminary injunction until april 2002. it is not that they are giving you the opportunity, it is for whatever reason taking advantage of it. what i don't think they can show is there is such a difference between the jurisdiction being covered, they need oversight 24/7 and the districts are not being overcome.
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but congress that has not come close to identifying what those would be, particularly since the jurisdiction is doing better today as opposed to the minority vote participation. >> thank you. let me ask you follow-up. two remains inn full force. protections are entirely in place. -- i would like to ask your practical experience. with -- worked alongside and after the fact, elected officials dealing with section five. while it is in place, while the department of justice has the authority to preclear were not
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preclear the decisions of elected officials -- to what extent did section five effectively require elected officials to make decisions based upon race? >> no question -- it has been well documented in the 1990's that the justice department had what they called the black max policy. regardless of traditional districting -- that is why you had those in north carolina that went down i-95 and was called unconstitutional. the first thing was these politically motivated gerrymandering which i hate to add. i was involved. no bones about that. everything i am telling you is contrary to the republican party partisan interests. -- they have round
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injected more politics because they now say this new ability enacted by congress in 2006 per tax white democrats. you cannot diminish and a democrat ability to get reelected if it is predominantly supported by minorities. what section five has done is taken equal racial opportunities and made it into a preference. beneficial things is you are decreasing the amount of gerrymandering and you will be decreasing the amount it will be considered now in every district from where there is 9% minority population to a 60% minority population. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. cruzt to follow senator
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costs question which elicited something i found very telling opinione supreme court about what you would talk about .ou remedial i was talking about congress make a mistake and that is the gaven the chief justice for fracking on the formula. they will not shave a coverage formula grounded in current conditions. isn't that a legislative judgment? pages ort is 15,000 30,000 pages, we are not talking
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about the absence of a record. we are talking about the evidence of which congress could draw a conclusion and as justice ginsburg said, that maybe things seven proved, but one of the purposes of congress is to againstor guard backsliding. is the court was legislating in the most inappropriate and worst way, put aside with a you disagree, don't you agree -- i know you have thought a lot about this issue -- >> i disagree. >> if it was said it would be no, they would be engaging. the chief justice did not use the evidence. how could he reached the conclusion? if you were to say about a jury coming out with a verdict, they
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had evidence. but they did not use it. courts do not use that. they say there was not evidence so no jury could have included reasonably. >> you said the coverage formula was not based on the evidence so there should be some reasonable ground. you cannot pass a law that everybody eased of the mississippi is covered. ,hen the formula was criticized it was not reflecting term reality, the answer was we are looking at 15,000 pages of testimony. we will defer if you are relying on the evidence but since you did not, there is nothing to do for. a jury or congress saying it cannot rely on it without having some inquiry into what was going
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on, was there some proper influence, don't we open the door to courts saying because of all of your fact-finding, mr. congress, i will look at that evidence. i don't see enough of it to sustain this element of the law for this part of your decision and therefore, we will strike it down. anddministrative agencies it should be done here but let's assume the epa look at this co2 when it should have been looking at h2o. we could have had a different formula. h2o and the presence of co2 is what justifies this decision. i know we can go back and forth for some time that i want to ask
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the other witnesses, beginning with the professor, if i may. how do we fix this formula? the court did not strike down the preclearance procedure if sisterly -- simply struck down which may be in fact if we cannot get a bipartisan the courtwhich counted on the congress to do and upholding the preclearance procedure for the task ahead of this committee and the senate is due arrive at a bipartisan settlement. passere are a lot of ahead.
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that are lots of different potential things that could help. the existing tools do not do the job but there are lots of ways to modify the existing tools over to the tools to further job. >> summa that involves different ways of getting information about where discrimination is occurring. it is not going out into the world, but you did have to get from preclearance. >> some of what i'm discussed will be different ways to identify where there is the most risk whether that is based on current violations, political polarization, other danger signs , you will have to look at where the most risk is. available -- less cumbersome, less expensive. it may be that some combination
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of all of the above is what congress will need another treat of ideas have not been put forward to make forward that congress can effectively stop the problem. that is the task congress has. that is the task the constitution gives. i look forward to the months ahead where there will be ideas which will be in combination that will be sufficient to the task. as from 2013. centers of congress have been looking at voting right. are they making any progress? >> as most things, no, they are not. this has been a very partisan issue. the voting rights act was once an issue where everybody agreed. the last time it was excited, a 25 year extension with broad
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bipartisan support but that has been drawn. it is impossible to even get a bill started, much less on the floor. >> next, eric holder on voting rights. he talks about the need for automatic voting registration on getting a drivers license which is already the law in oregon, california, vermont and west virginia. >> it is a pleasure to be here. i was worried. we go a long way back. that introduction could have done many number of ways but thank you so much for those kind words. i will like to discuss an issue that i believe threatens the integrity of this great nation.
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i would like to suggest ways we can make real for the people of the u.s. and the promise of the democracy. after the passage of the most act,ficant voting rights the most basic of american rights, the right to vote, is under siege. , theesident johnson said right to vote is the basic right. without which all others are meaningless. at a time where we should be expanding opportunities, there is a movement in america that makes it difficult. inaccurate and, disconnected supreme court decision.
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just a shelby county. confirmedn he has will have some kind of precedent. we will take a decision and change the name. that is my requirement. decision, i think too many in this country are trying too hard to make it too difficult for the people to express their views. let me start with the basic statement that everybody can agree, left, right, conservative. every person attempting to vote should have to show he or she is who they claim to be. in many today think it has the case and in the past our fellow citizens were allowed to demonstrate that in many credible ways. there has always been a
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component of identifying yourself before you can cast a ballot. it is very recently in some states they have become overly prescriptive and restricted in enumerating what is efficient proof. certain states, legislators and governors, it is more descriptive -- restrictive. the usual justification as to ensure that integrity of the electoral system by preventing voter fraud. the new restrictions must be designed to prevent in person false identification. there is no physical proof that there is in fact the nation should be concerned but the mantra is it is almost
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robotically some people have believed the issue is real. in personve shown voter fraud is extremely, extremely rare. associated far outweigh the benefits affect. it would probably require substantial numbers of people holding themselves out and voters out that they are not which would increase almost exponentially the exposure of the scheme. it is more likely in individual would be struck by lightning then impersonate another person. i think you should have used the powerball analogy but struck by lightning gives you a sense of how rare it is.
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when expert trying to look at of cases found 31 cases out 2014illion votes cast in -- 31 out of one billion over the course of 14 years -- people , where is the problem? it simply is not a consequence of one. restrictive voting laws next to nonexistent problems with a serious, negative collateral consequence are not needed. instead of ensuring the integrity of the voting process, it is the opposite by keeping certain people away from the polls. fact-based not a problem, what could be the basis of photo identification? one party has short-term
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expediency and history will be hard in its assessment. in a 2007 article of the houston chronicle, a texas republican parties dated, among republicans , voter fraud helps them lose elections. the article goes on to say he does not agree. cause enough of a drop-off in democratic voting. pennsylvania in the last presidential election?, the republican state house majority leader looked at some partisan issues that would help mitt romney, listing guns, abortion. which would allow him to win the state of pennsylvania is done. a federal court in washington,
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throwing out a texas republican supported law said it would impose strict unforgiving support. remember, under the texas they law, the university id was found not to be adequate proof but a concealed weapons permit. in wisconsin last year, the chief of staff resigned after attending a party caucus in which he said some legislative made him giddy over the effect of state voter id laws for minorities in college students. let's be frank. faced with democratic changes and saddled with a governing philosophy, some republicans have decided if you cannot beat them, change the rules.
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make it difficult for those individuals least likely to support the republic candidate to vote. this is done with the knowledge that i simply depressing the vote, not even winning the majority of votes, elections can in fact be affected. that totudy found by the poor in kansas and tennessee in 2012. san diego --y in after controlling a variety of ittors, including disproportionately affected democratic voters, studies found the democratic turnout dropped 7% where voter id law was in place. latino turnout dropped by 10% and there was an increase of participation between whites and people. what votee to define
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fraud is, that is voter fraud. the nation's attention should not be focused on these legal voters. in census bureau reported the 2008 presidential election, 75 million adults did not vote, 60 million were not registered and therefore not eligible to cast a ballot. that is one of the places where i think we should focus our efforts. this beach i gave in 2011 at the library, i called for citizenship. the ability to vot is a vote is a right. before and after every election season, state and local officials have to manually
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process new applications, most of them had written. even in a system with errors and chaos of the polls. one in eight voter registrations in the u.s. is invalid or significantly inaccurate. modern technology provides a straightforward fix if we have these political wills to bring out election systems into the 21st century. the government can and should automatically register citizens to vote by compiling from existing databases and list of all eligible residences. automaticlemented in procedure in january and has seen a nearly fourfold increase in registries. california, vermont and west virginia have had similar laws.
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implementedted it the dmv but also other key government agencies, not just the dmv. these needed reforms could add 15 million eligible voters, save money and increase accuracy that is necessary to the system. thatst address the fact one in nine americans moved every year, the voter registration does not move with them. many do not realize this until they missed the deadline to register before election day. election officials should work together to establish a program --permanent, per double portable registrations so they can vote at their polling places. until that happens, think we should implement failsafe procedures to correct errors by
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allowing every voter have a regular non-provisional ballot or election day. thisal states have taken step and increased turnout by 3, 5 percentage points. -- not onlyot in improve, it will save dollars. despite the benefits, there will be those that say easing registration hurtles and election date prophecies will only lead to voter fraud. voter fraud to the extent it actually exist is not acceptable and should not be tolerated. as i learned earlier in my career, where i actually investigated real voting fraud cases, voter registration and voting easier is not by themselves to make our elections more susceptible to fraud.
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signs of this debate have felt in person voting fraud is uncommon. we have to be honest. we must recognize our ability to ensure the strength and the integrity of our election system and to advance the reforms necessary to achieve this depends on whether the american people are informed, engaged and willing to demand fast-paced intentions and common sense solutions that makes voting more accessible. politicians may not readily and willingly fall under the systems they were elected even though they oppose the citizens united decision and two thirds of voters support strengthening voter protections and the voting rights act. only weak, the people, can bring about meaningful change and
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alter this from a tory tends. talk about the leadership on these issues. the automatic voter registration in 2007. it has done much to advance the policy and other research in public education. , raise awareness about what is at stake, call on the political party most responsible to resist temptation to oppress certain votes in the hope of -- work to achieve by appealing to more rotors. what do they fear? people claiming they want to represent an urge policymakers at every level to reevaluate the electoral system to inform them in ways that encourage, not limit, participation. consistent that make it easier to register and easier to vote.
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asked why is voting tied to a -- tuesday in november. work to expand voting days and hours so that many of our fellow citizens need not choose between casting a ballot and keeping their job. increase, not decrease as was disastrously done in arizona recently, the number of polling places where fellow citizens can truly participate in democracy. today, we cannot and must not take the right to vote for granted. nor can we shirk the sacred responsibility that falls upon our shoulders. throughout his presidency, lyndon johnson made the promise of the 1965 voting rights act real. he frequently pointed out, again i want to quote, "america was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose. to right wrong and to do justice." over the last two centuries the
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fulfillment of this has taken many forms -- protest, compassion, war and peace, and a range of everest to make certain, as another president said, "governments of and by and for the people shall not parish from the earth." today, there are competing visions about how the government should move forward. we are a noisy nation, that is a good thing. that is what the democratic process is all about creating , space for thoughtful debate, creating opportunities for citizens to voice their opinions, and ultimately letting the people chart their own course. our nation has worked and even fought to help people around the world establish such a process. here at home, honoring our democracy demands that we remove any and all barriers to voting. a goal that all american citizens of all political backgrounds must share. despite so many decades of struggle, sacrifice, and of achievement, we must remain ever vigilant in safeguarding our most basic and important rights.
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recent actions, i believe, are simply shameful, and have the potential to reverse the progress that defines us and has made the nation exceptional, as well as an example for all of the world. we must be true to the art of america's history. it compels us to be more inclusive with regard to the franchise. we must never forget the purpose that more than two centuries ago inspired our nation's founding and now must guide us forward. so let us act with optimism and , without delay. let us rise to the challenges and overcome the fallacies of our time. let us signal to the world that , in america today, the pursuit of a more perfect union lives on. now is not the time to retreat in the face of a partisan assault on the most basic of american rights. the battle to ensure the voting rights of all americans is, i believe, a defining one. this is not only a legal issue, it is also a moral imperative.
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if we are to be the nation that we claim to be, we must challenge in every way possible those who would undermine our democracy and who have lost faith with the covenant between government and the people. the right to vote is not only the cornerstone of our system of government, it is the lifeblood of our democracy. i am confident that with a focused citizenry and with leaders like those in the room today, the struggle for right will be won. if we are to remain true to those who sacrificed for the right to vote, we must not fail. thank you very much. [applause] >> more now on the 2016 election and voting rights with part of a discussion on whether the voting rights act is still necessary.
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voting identification, fraud, and discrimination. this is from a meeting of the american bar association. >> i'm going to be the dissenter in the room, which i'm sure will make people unhappy. let me say a couple of things -- first of all, the voting rights act is the most important piece of legislation passed in the last century. frankly, more important than the civil rights act. the voting rights act finally helped end the segregation and lack of political power and strength of black americans. in 1965, when the law was passed blacks were registered at a rate , of only about 27% in georgia, mississippi less than 7%. by 2004, the election of the year before section five was to expire, in many parts of the southeast covered by section five, blacks were registering
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and voting at higher rates than white voters. everyone here has been talking as if the voting rights act has ended. that is simply not the case. the voting rights act has a number of different sections. the most powerful tool against racial discrimination is section two. it is permanent. it is nationwide. we also have section 11-b, permanent, nationwide. in which the justice department can go against anyone who is intimidating or threatening or coercing voters. what was at issue in the shelby county case was one provision of the voting rights act -- section five. section five was originally supposed to be an emergency provision only supposed to last , five years. it only covered a small number of jurisdictions in the country. what was the reason for section five? the reason was the justice department would go to court, they would get a court order against the jurisdiction that was discriminating against black
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voters, and then that jurisdiction would basically evade the court decree. the idea was, with section five, they would not be able to make any changes in the voting laws without getting the permission of the justice department or a three-judge panel in d.c. the symptom of discrimination going on was, as i said, low voter registration and turnout. congress came up with the coverage formula. if you had less than 50% voter registration or turnout of all voters not just black voters. , in the 1964 presidential election -- you would be covered. when they renewed section five, they added the 64, 68, and 72 elections. after that, congress never updated the formula. they didn't do it in 2006 when they were looking at it again. the reason for it was, if they had looked at it not a single
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state would have been covered when they renewed section five because the systematic, widespread, official discrimination that was happening was ended. in fact, just a couple of things, the black registration and turnout was higher in the covered states than the rest of the country. there were far more black officeholders in the covered states than the rest of the country. the states with the fewest black elected officials, in fact they listed this in the court case were states that had previously , not been covered by section five like illinois and delaware. the court was fully justified in saying, history did not stop in 1965. there was no evidence that states like georgia were so different still today from places like massachusetts that georgia needed to be under
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special protection. the point was, if discrimination occurs, not only can the justice department and private party sue under section two, but they can even get folks under a preclearance regime. because something that is not often mentioned is section three of the voting rights act. and if you can prove a section two case, you go to the judge and say, judge, we think -- we have evidence this jurisdiction is going to try to evade this court decree we think you should , put them under a five-year regime where they have to get an ok from you or from the justice department to make a change in voting rights the judge can , impose it. that is a much more equitable way of putting in a preclearance requirement based on actual evidence in that jurisdiction than a blanket covering of all of these states.
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shelby county, by the way, the alabama county that had filed a suit -- the county government had never had an objection filed in the entire history of the voting rights act. i want to show you this -- and then i will end. i know you cannot see this map, it is a map of the united states. this is from the 2013 census report. see the green areas covering the southeastern united states? georgia, mississippi, all those places. those are states where the census bureau says black americans outvoted whites by anywhere from up to 6% more. those are the states where conditions actually our best today. there has been no evidence of section five, a new one needs to be applied. if there is a problem, you can sue under section two and you
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can get a remedy from a court. >> tom, let me turn to you. one of the lines in the majority opinion in shelby is that the voting rights act imposes significant current burdens, so it needs to be justified by a showing of current needs. is that not correct? tom: i think the premise that there is a significant burden from preclearance is one that is totally unproven. what the court majority in shelby county talked about at length with stigma, the equal sovereignty, and in many ways it is the quintessential states rights case. what was not given due attention are a number of things -- first of all, with respect to the burden of section five preclearance, there was a ready mechanism used by many jurisdictions that could have been used by shelby county.
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could've been used by entire itcould've been used by entire states if they could prove that they had complied and not had an objected to change over time, they could bail out. that is what the supreme court in theearlier case municipal utilities district rested their decision upon. there was a ready mechanism used by a number of jurisdiction to get out of the "tremendous burden" of preclearance. let's talk about what the burdens may be. the main provision of the voting rights act, permanent is section , two, it does permit the federal government or a private litigant to challenge practices. there are two problems with section two. the is often you have to have first the evidence of implementation of the practice to demonstrate a discriminatory effect. that means you have to suffer through a number of elections
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with folks denied votes before you have a chance to realistically go into court and have that change overturned . second, everyone in this room as lawyers understand, section two is an inefficient way of adjudicating these matters. since 1982, when congress authorized the reauthorize the voting rights act in 1986 when the supreme court upheld what they did in the operative test 1982, for prevailing a section is "totality of the circumstance." a lawyer in any area of the law can understand what must be involved in satisfying a totality of the circumstance s test. there are experts on both sides. hundreds, if not thousands of hours of lawyer time on both sides. great expense and consumption of time before you have an opportunity to overturn what may be clearly discriminatory change
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s in the electoral process. while shelby county was being decided, the state of texas had two cases being adjudicated under section five as well as section two. one involved redistricting, the other involved a voter id provision made much more draconian than previously. in those cases, the state of went to the u.s. district court in washington dc. in those cases, there was presented tremendous evidence of not discriminatory effect but intentional discrimination. intentional discrimination by the texas legislature to prevent the power of latino and african-american voters from increasing. the judges concluded that that was very strong evidence of intentional determination. -- intentional discrimination.
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as a result of shelby county, those cases are today, two years after shelby county still being , litigated with those provisions potentially in place. fortunately, on redistricting, there was a revelation that resulted in new maps. those provisions could be in place, even though judges had concluded there was intentional discrimination and that is a demonstrable indication of the difference between section two and section five. i will conclude by saying, lawyers in the room should understand, that in addition to being the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted, the voting rights act in section five had one of the earliest and most effective alternative dispute resolution mechanisms ever put into federal law. that is how we should see preclearance. it is an efficient and timely, resolvingway of disputes around electoral changes. timeliness is important to prevent those changes from being
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implemented and having election occur. once someone's right to vote is denied and an election happens, you cannot unring that bell and do it again if a judge decides that what happened was discriminatory. you have to have a timely mechanism. efficient because all that preclearance involved was submission of the change and the data to support the potential effects of the change to the department of justice. the department of justice in a vast majority of cases would approve the change and it would be implemented. that is more cost effective and efficient, as a means of resolving these disputes, then section two under the totality of the circumstances test. >> tom mentioned we have a room full of lawyers. we do have students from the saint rio catholic high school. where are they? we would like to welcome them into the room.
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[applause] as well as illinois state representative pamela rees harris of chicago. [applause] andrea, let me ask you from your perspective as, until recently, ceo of the urban league, what impact has the voting rights act had? is it still important? andrea: of course the voting rights act had significant impact. we heard statistics on the increase in the number of people voting and the number of minorities, in particular african-americans, and those in office. i think there are some real
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things that you can understand around -- a couple of things i wanted to touch on. the first is -- i want to remind people that this argument around states' rights and the importance of states' rights, how that argument was levered against the civil rights laws. historically it is the idea that balancing states against civil rights, and it is important to remember the role of the federal government in overcoming that and recognizing there are some things particular constitutional , protections, that have to come from the federal government to balance against state rights. the other thing i think that is really important is when you go -- it troubles me a bit, the argument made that the voting rights act worked, african-americans are being elected to office. it is the argument behind, look, we have an african-american president, that is great, we are
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good now. the idea that we do not need those protections is that false understanding. we are good because we have those protections because we had preclearance. the immediate response to shelby , which was states immediately going -- states like texas, north carolina -- immediately pursuing restrictive voter id laws would indicate to you that the protections of the preclearance reviews were critically important. the other thing people need to remember is that about the , voting restrictions that preceded the voting rights act and that the voting rights act recognized that voting is a very local activity. the restriction of voting is a very local activity. congresswoman waters touched on it, but the idea is, you pass the law, you say, great, we will have voting rights.
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at a local level there is a lot of opportunity to restrict voting rights. that is why we put in preclearance to say, forget it, you can't change it because we cannot get to every single one of the thousands of jurisdictions where you could be discriminating. we're not going to allow you to change it. it is that protection that we are missing because as tom , pointed out, we all know them as lawyers, particularly the litigators litigation takes a , long time. while that litigation is happening, elections are occurring where rights are being limited. >> bringing what i think is a quote that justice ginsburg said, that if you have an umbrella in the rain and it is keeping you dry, it is not the time to close the umbrella. [laughter] >> the point is, if you're going to say a certain number of states have to be under federal
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supervision, then you have to provide evidence of current, systematic, widespread discrimination that would justify it. that has not been shown. let's talk about voter id. it is a myth that this all suddenly occurred after the shelby county decision. i will remind folks that the georgia voter id law was passed in 2005. indiana's was passed after that. georgia's law has been in place since the 2008 election. indiana's voter id law has been in place since 2008. they have had election after election. the data on georgia, a large african-american population, about 30%, shows that after the voter id law went in place, the turnout of black voters and hispanic voters went up dramatically. it went up at a higher rate than the turnout of white voters.
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same thing happened in the 2010 election. in 2008, when indiana's voter id law was in place for the first time, in place because their case went to the supreme court. it was upheld by the court. it was 6-3. justice john paul stevens, a stalwart liberal, provided the majority opinion. barack obama won indiana with their photo id law in place. first democrat to win the state , i believe since the 1964 , election. folks have also complained about cutbacks in early voting. first of all, a large number of states do not have early voting. it is a relatively new phenomenon. new york does not have it. on friday, you probably know, i think it was the last day of the trial in north carolina, over the fact that they had changed their early voting days from 17 to 10, although they had the same number of hours.
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the justice department had a lot of trouble in that case because they had put experts on more than a year ago when they tried to get a temporary restraining order to keep that change from being in place for the 2014 midterm elections for the primary and general election they had experts in place who , said, if this early voting is in place, the turnout of voters that are black will go down "thate, the experts said, black voters were less sophisticated voters" and " it is less likely to imagine these voters can figure out how to avail themselves of other forms of registering and voting." i find that to be the most patronizing and frankly bigoted attitude. the cutback in early voting times was in effect for the may primary in north carolina and the general election.
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in the may primary, black turnout went up 30% over the 2010 primary, when that change was not there. the white turnout went up 14%. in the general election, the black share of the vote went from 38.5% in 2010 to 41.1% in the election. in a general election -- the midterm congressional election last year, turnout was down all across the country. it went down all across from the prior midterm. one of the only states where turnout went up was north carolina where these suppose it voting changes have kept people from voting. all the data from the state, the show voter id does not keep people from voting. changes in early voting don't
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keep people from voting. in fact, and you all can google this the university from , wisconsin, several professors just put out a study and the conclusion, this kind of counterintuitive, it is that it hurts turnout. they concluded that it may decrease turnout from 3-4%. the reason being the campaign spends the majority on get out the vote effort. if they have to spread the money out over a two-week, three-week, four-week time, it is not as intense and effective, and apparently people who would normally go vote on election day keep saying, i can vote vote the nextn day. apparently, it is enough to hurt turnout by a small percentage. it is not me saying this, this is a study at the university of wisconsin and a number of other
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studies that have said that early voting may hurt turnout. >> mark, let me respond. the first -- the headline i will be taking for today is that apparently voter id restrictions are measures to increase turnout. [laughter] >> that is what i heard you say. >> i did not say that. >> just one second, just one second. >> opponents have said -- >> you are employing that here and elsewhere. >> since the supreme court 's action in 2013, stricter voting laws have been passed in alabama, arizona, georgia, mississippi, texas, and virginia. over the summer some states have , been challenged on that and overturned some of the state laws. for example, "new york times" headline said, "texas agrees to soften voter id law after court
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order." what exactly took place in texas? >> that was a prolonged fight over a law in texas like many others that required voters to produce specific id to cast a ballot. this has been up and down the courts and, in the most recent decision, the u.s. court of appeals decided this law was -- this law had a discriminatory impact and that there needed to be greater opportunities for people who had trouble getting these ids to obtain them. there have been meetings between the plaintiff voting rights advocates and the state, and they came to an agreement which effectively ended the photo id law and allowed anybody who has difficulty in getting an id to still vote by signing an affidavit at their polling place
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saying that they could not reasonably obtain one of the documents. so that was a big change. >> and north carolina's fourth circuit court struck down the voter id law there. in the court argument one of the judges questioned the intent of the voting laws. here's a couple minutes of that. >> all of this rhetoric. evidence that there was a search in african-american registration 10 years prior and the law was changed and they claim that you are adversely affected. it means, in this case, could be that the republican party got control of the house and the senate and the governorship and the opportunity changed those pretty liberal voter
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registration provisions with shelby. it looks pretty bad to me. in terms of purposeful discrimination. >> i hope that i can persuade you it was not a nefarious thing. certainly, the judge found it was not. there is a couple premises in your questions that i have to challenge. there is a correlation between same-day registration and 17-day s of early voting and out of precinct voting and preregistration and the increase in the black registration or participation rate during the 2008 and 2012 election. now, i have never been in a trial with more experts from m.i.t. and harvard and every
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university in the country, and they did what is called a cross-state analysis where they give opinions on whether election practices on the cause of an increase in turnout or registration. at the preliminary injunction stage, none of them had done a cross-state analysis to try to opine on whether these practices had caused an increase in turnout or registration. and they were put on notice that there was evidence that there were states like north carolina, virginia, where the black turnout and registration numbers went up at equivalent rates and virginia did not have same-day registration, out of precinct voting, and 17 days early voting. so at the preliminary injunction stage, they had failed to give a causal link between these repeal
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practices and the increase in participation by african americans. >> you can listen to the entire fourth circuit argument at c-span.org. michael of the "new york times," what occurred in north carolina since that court ruling? michael that was a remarkable : ruling, in that it not only said north carolina's voter id law and other changes had eight discriminatory impact, but that they actually were intended to disenfranchise certain blocks of voters and that is a very unusual and very strong ruling. since then, the state board of elections has handed down some rules for local election boards on how they should restructure their voting in order to comply with the appeals court decision and that has not always gone well. in one of the first meetings on a local level in guilford county , north carolina the voting
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, board actually, in the view of many critics, tried to make an end run around the appeals court, doing things like cutting back on sunday voting. sunday voting is broadly used by minority groups. blacks who go to churches, they go to church and then a bus picks you up so you can exercise your constitutional right to vote. by cutting back on sunday voting , it was just one example that limits the opportunities of minorities to vote, or so the critics would say. in that county and others, there has been a large outcry by citizens. some of these meetings on voting rules were actually packed -- were absolutely packed. in the case of guilford many of , those efforts to place new restrictions on voting were withdrawn. of "new yorknes
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times," thank you for joining us. here's more about recent changes to voter id laws. >> she joins us to discuss voter identification rules. how many states are trying to impose more stringent rules this cycle? where could voters see this? fact, there are 15 states in which voters when they go to the polls this november will be facing new restrictions for the first time in a presidential election. those 15 states are part of a larger trend since 2010 where we see voters in about 21 states , almost half the country are , facing new restrictions over the past five or six years. >> are they the same kind of voter identification rules? or are some more stringent than others, where voters could see them in november?
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jennifer: there is a range. some of them are voter id laws as you have identified. the ones that are truly concerning are what are often referred to as strict voter id laws. under those types of laws voters , can show only one of a very small number of government identification documents to vote. if they do not have anyone of those documents, they are out of luck. they oftentimes cannot cast a ballot that counts. we have seen states such as texas and wisconsin, over the past few years attempt to put , those kind of strict photo id laws into place. in addition to voter identification restrictions, we're seeing different kinds of restrictions. cutbacks on early voting opportunities. elimination of the opportunity to register to vote and vote in one trip, which is referred to
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as same-day registration, and we have seen things such as making it more difficult for those with prior criminal convictions to get their right to vote restored. it runs the gamut. >> some of the folks trying to roll back some of the restrictions have seen several victories in recent court rulings. can you walk us through for those who may not have seen the stories in recent weeks? jennifer: sure. you're right. in the past couple weeks, we had really seen courts stepping in to protect the right to vote in november's election. one of the state i have already mentioned is texas. texas passed a strict photo id law in 2011, it was blocked by one court and it went through a very long litigation process to end up where we are today which , is that two weeks ago, the fifth circuit court of appeals, a federal appellate court, said the texas law discriminated on
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the basis of race. it has a disproportionate affect -- disproportionate impact on voters who are african-american and latino in texas and so texas will not be able to enforce its law as written this november. in fact, voters need to have an opportunity to cast a ballot with other types of identification that are not one of those limited number of photo ids from the government i talked about. in addition to texas, we have seen some pushback in wisconsin, where we had seen two court cases over the past couple of weeks. to thesomewhat similar texas decision in effect, in that voters without photo identification will have to be given another opportunity to cast a ballot this november. and, we have also seen some in wisconsin against restriction against early voting opportunity there. wisconsin passed a law making it
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harder for municipalities to offer early voting. in addition to those states, we saw a big victory against restrictions in north carolina, where about a week and a half ago, there was another federal appellate court that issued an opinion, saying north carolina's omnibus restriction law which was passed a few years back and included photo identification to vote, restrictions on early voting and same-day registration, and a bunch of other restrictions, that federal courts said that law was passed with the intent to discriminate against minority voters in north carolina. so, that law has also been wiped off the books although north carolina has said they are going to take that up to the supreme court. in addition to those, we have also seen a court in north dakota say that that state cannot enforce its photo id law , and there was also a litigation victory in kansas. in kansas, there has been a
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concerted effort to push forward documentary proof of citizen requirement, which many voters did not show when they register to vote so they are being taken off the rolls. a court recently said at least in part, those voters have to be given the opportunity to vote . there has been a lot court decisions in the past couple weeks that really push back on these restrictions. >> for those who are more visual learners a map of where the , major legislation that can impact voter access is taking place. the light blue states, where there were recent litigation victories, and the dark blue states where challenges to , restrictive voter laws are taking place. for those who want to join in on this segment questions and , comments for jennifer clarke at the brennan center. --ublicans
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reminders with the brennan center is. jennifer: the brennan center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan law and policy institute. we are housed at nyu's school of law. we were founded to defend the two pillars on which our country was built democracy and justice. ,in addition to work in voting, we do work in other areas such as justice reform. responses to liberty and national security issues. >> have you have been involved in these various litigation efforts that you were just talking about? jennifer yes. :our attorneys for some clients in the texas case that i talked about. in the other cases, we have not actively participated in litigations. we have filed amicus briefs and -- i serve as one of the plaintiffs attorney in the texas
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case i talked about. host: susie, good morning. caller: you are a few things when you buy to present id -- cigarettes, alcohol, to apply for welfare, food stamps, apply for medicaid, social security, unemployment. to rent or buy a house. to drive or buy a car. to get on an airplane, get married, purchase a gun, adopt a pet, and on and on. so what is wrong with when we vote which is an important thing, to present photo id? i do not see the problem. host: thank you for the question. jennifer? jennifer: sure. you're right. voting is an incredibly important thing and people
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should have to be able to prove that they are who they say they are. i think everybody agrees that integrity is of the utmost importance. i think everyone is on the same page with that. the problem with the types of laws i was talking about the , strict photo identification laws, comes in the strict photo identification part. there are a large number of americans who simply do not have those id's. a lot of them do not board airplanes or do some of the other things you mentioned. they are not homeowners. or they are able to use other types of photo identification that is not accepted under these laws. for example, in texas, you can not use a drivers license from another state to cast a ballot. you cannot use a drivers license that is expired more than 60 days. those things were true under the
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strict version of the law that courts have said texas cannot use for this november's election. but up until that was issued, those are types of ids many people use for things you talked about. in the litigation, we ran into a lot of people, particularly older people, who did have identification but it expired five or six years ago because they do not drive anymore so they had no need to renew their driver's license but they kept their expired driver's license or they could show it when they needed to. but, that was not an id they could use to vote in texas. those people who spoke at the trial were not alone. there were multiple experts who did statistical analyses of voters in texas and found that over 600,000 registered voters in texas did not have one of the ids that you can use to vote under the law. so, that is a sizable portion of the electorate simply being blocked out because they do not
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have the id. so, proving you who you say you are can be done in other ways that does not disenfranchise people. host: john, you wrong with jennifer clarke. caller: i have a commented at the end i have a question. the brennan center is a far left quasi-socialistic organization , that has always been for the main objective of allowing illegal immigrants to vote. i worked for the government 20 years ago. i saw illegal immigrants and i know this for a fact, i cannot tell you how, but where i worked, there were getting voter registration cards and they were in the country illegally. the whole objective of this is to allow anyone to vote whether they are a citizen or noncitizen. if it is a noncitizen, that disenfranchises my vote. when people talk about , i don't careng about that 600,000 that are probably illegal.
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half the women give you 20 things you have to have a license -- and the 600,000, really? it does not affect any of them? i have a question -- >> i want to give her a chance to respond. jennifer: the brennan center -- and i don't think anybody else who works in elections thinks people who aren't eligible citizens should be voting. that is the basis of elections in this country is making sure that it is eligible citizens who vote. certainly that is what i believe , and what the brennan center believes. that is the baseline. election integrity is the most important and if folks are not eligible to vote, then they should not be casting a vote. there are plenty of ways other states makes sure that people who they say they are such as allowing them to provide other forms of identification. not one of a very small limited
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number that a good percentage of americans do not have. >> back to you for your question. caller: illegals have been getting drivers licenses from throughout the united states for a number of years now. just because you have the voter id law does not mean you are a citizen. in florida, all you have to do is check off a box you are a u.s. citizen. there are no voter police who go out there and verify this information. i know this for a fact because of where i used to work. and back in the 90's, illegal immigrants were getting voter ids. jennifer: you did point out a disconnect between some of the strict photo id laws, what they are saying and what they actually do. there are many states where people who are not legal citizens can get driver's licenses, and it is not because they are doing something wrong. there are people here on a green
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card who can get driver's licenses and there are plenty of folks who are not u.s. citizens who get driver's licenses and are licensed to drive. there is nothing intrinsic about showing a piece of identification that proves that you are in fact a u.s. citizen. what does prove that you are a u.s. citizen is that when you register to vote, you have to swear you are a u.s. citizen and the penalty for that is quite severe. in fact, there are some prosecutions of people who ended up registering and often times you get election officials talking about what they see and oftentimes people make a mistake. they think because they got handed a voter registration pamphlet, perhaps with their application for a drivers license, they think they are able to register to vote and they end up on the voting rolls. and ifre protections, that is something you saw during your time in government, many of those people have been affected and many times it is a simple innocent misunderstanding.
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>> how often does voter fraud happen per election cycle? jennifer: there are statistics on that. it is important to think about what we're talking about when we say voter fraud. it gets used as an umbrella term. to break it down, for example, the type of voter fraud that gets stopped by something like the texas law is called in -person impersonation fraud. i go to the polls and pretend to be somebody else. that type of fraud is very rare. there are numbers on it. we have a few studies on it. one is a study that was published in the "washington post," where there was an extensive look and they found 31 credible instances of this type of in-person impersonation fraud between 2000 and 2014. that is out of about one billion ballots cast. 31 instances. that is an infinitesimally small
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number. in the texas case, when texas passed its strict voter id law, the legislature had evidence before it that between 2000 and there were two 2010, instances of this kind of in-person impersonation fraud and that us out of millions of ballots cast in texas at that time. that type of fraud is incredibly rare. when it does happen, people get caught. there's a reason it is rare. it is not a very good way to have an outcome on the election to vote as another person. it doesn't really have that much of an effect and the penalties are very severe. tens of thousands of dollars in fines and potential jail time. host: from maryland, a republican. good morning. caller: good morning. a couple things. the first lady was very articulate. add to the list of things that
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it is my understanding that you need id for, obamacare. i find it very difficult to believe that in this day and age, there are people who do not have voter id, and i am very disappointed that i feel like my vote is being discounted because of a lot of the nonsense going on. thank you very much. host: jennifer clarke, any response? jennifer: sure. certainly, there is nothing wrong with having people prove they are who they say they are. a useful distinction between what texas had on the books before this court decision came out, which allowed you to use one of several pieces of voter id, which a good number of taxes did not have, versus what they will put in place for this election after the court decision came down saying that
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law was racially discriminatory. so under the new proposal, you can use a paycheck that has your name and address, you can use another government document what your name and address. you can use something called a voter registration certificate , which is something texas actually mails to people when they register to vote. it comes to them at the address they put on the voter registration, so if they haven't it means they live at that , address and they got it. that is a much broader range of documents. people have those documents and allowing them to show them at the polls means that their voices will count. the caller expressed a dismay at the feeling that your vote does not count and that was a very real thing for these people who did not have one of the small number of voter ids texas required. we heard them testify on the stand at trial about how they attempted over and over again to use the documents they did have to get one of the acceptable identifications and they failed because they did not have the
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money that they needed, because they ran into trouble with transportation or perhaps they , had a mistake in one of their underlying documents. their name is spelled one way here and another way there, they weren't able to reconcile and it put them in a loop or -- this loop where they could not get one of the very small numbers of voter identifications and that made them feel their voices did not count. it is about making sure every eligible citizen can vote. >> a lot of viewers waiting to talk to you. we will try to move them as fast as they can in our last 20 minutes or so in this segment. a democrat. good morning. caller: yes. a quick comment. people have died and given their lives so that we can all vote. i think it is something we need to hold as a precious jewel and treasure. people should have the proper identifications to people to
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not and government should pass laws to try to suppress people from voting. our vote is all that we have and we should exercise that. states that pass these hard laws to stop people from voting are doing a disservice to their constituents, to the people who live in the state. >> what is too much, in your opinion? caller: in florida restoration , of criminal rights to vote after they have served time. they should have an opportunity and the right to be put back into society and exercise a right to vote for whomever they choose, whether it is democrat, republican, or independent. i don't think they should be
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cast out anymore but should be brought into the fold. jennifer: so, the caller has identified florida as a state where it is particularly difficult for people with prior criminal convictions to get the right to vote restored. that is true. it is one of only three states in the country where you are facing potential lifetime disenfranchisement. the right to vote is incredibly important. it is a right and responsibility. we are seeing that states are doing a lot of things to increase turnout to try to make it more likely people will be invested in their democracy. it is a shame to see those efforts undercut and see some states doing quite the opposite which is making it much more , difficult for certain segments of the population, which you have seen in the court decisions in the past couple week, disproportionally tend to be minority voters to make it harder for those people to vote.
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host: adam is an independent. good morning. caller: in the texas case in particular, the forms of seven identification required, what are they, and are there mechanisms in place for people to get those forms of identification? in pennsylvania, if you are a non-driver, you can get a non-driver id. i am sure that is the case in a lot of other states, including county id. jennifer: under the texas law that was recently, at least as it was written on the books struck down by the court, the , types of photo identification that were allowed under that law were a texas driver's license, a texas non-driver's license, a state photo id, which is what i think the caller was talking about where you go to the , department of motor vehicles
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and if you do not drive you get a state id, you still have to pay for that id. also, a u.s. passport was accepted, and about three other documents with identifications and a photo on it. texas did create something called an election identification certificate, which was a card that had a photo identification on it used for voting purposes only and that was supposed to be the cost-free alternative for people who did not have any one of these ids. however, you needed a birth certificate and other documentation inergy get back and what we saw was people do , not have the original or certified copy of their birth certificate anymore. these were primarily people who were older and had moved around a lot and lost that document or perhaps had been born outside of a hospital setting and did not have that document to begin with. so, although there was a free
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voter id provided, getting it wasn't free and that ended up being a problem for people and texas did not make a lot of effort to get id in those people's hands. other states, there was more of an effort. the caller specifically mentioned the idea of using county ids and things issued at the local level. in new york city, there is a new york city id where the city made a big push to get the ids in people's hands. under the texas law they did not , allow any government issued documents except for the ones i already mentioned. if you had a county id with your picture if you were a government , employee and you had in employee id with your picture on it, you could not use it. host: robert is a republican. you are on with jennifer of the brennan center. caller: first, i would like to say that the brennan center is not nonpartisan.
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it has never supported a conservative cause. second, 40% of california driver licenses last year were given to illegals. now, if you can get a driver's license and you are an illegal born in a foreign country with limited ability to speak english, no birth certificate, how difficult is it for someone who was born here and has a birth certificate? the other point is, in alabama you have to have a photo id. if you do not have one, the state will come to your house and issue one free. you must provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in the first place. jennifer: the first comment, the brennan center is nonpartisan. we do not support conservative or liberal causes or any cause
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attached to a particular party. in my time there i have worked , with republican legislators anddemocratic legislators legislators who are independent or of other third parties. this is not about partisanship in any way. the idea that we all go to the polls if we're eligible citizens and we vote for whoever it is that we support, that is fundamental and it crosses party lines. every elected official who was put there by voters should feel very passionately about making sure that all eligible citizens can vote. i cannot believe that feeling is actually a partisan feeling one way or the other. it is about the fundamental right to vote. host: have you worked with mark ilias before? jennifer: i have not. i do know he is bringing some lawsuits, but i do not know him and have not worked with him.
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i bring it up -- the washington post today has a front-page story calling him a go to lawyer for democrats. taking a somewhat controversial place among the coalition of groups challenging a wave of state election laws rewritten in recent years. his efforts explicitly on behalf -- besides joining the efforts of civil rights groups, he has also made efforts in states that are important to hillary clinton's campaign and the future democratic candidates. the question is, does his work in this area concern a group like yours that is nonpartisan and trying to work on this in a nonpartisan way? jennifer: i think these fights should be kept nonpartisan to the extent possible. that is very important. the idea that there are more
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hold that people need to step in and fill with litigation is not shocking. what we saw this in 2013 the supreme court in a decision called shelby county struck down part of the voting rights act part of the voting rights act. it made it much easier for states that have a history of discrimination at the ballot box to pass laws such as the one in texas, the one in north carolina, the one in virginia, and elsewhere, to make it harder for people to vote. so, now that we do not have the full protection of the voting rights act and it is the first election in 50 years without those protections we have seen , an uptick in the number of states passing restrictive laws and so, of course as we see those laws go up in number, it certainly makes sense that more lawyers are coming to the table because there are more people that are reaching out because they have lost the right to
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vote. it is not surprising people are stepping in to fill the void. what should happen is that the congress should restore the voting rights act to its former power and pass a voting rights amendment act which the brennan center and others have been working on with bipartisan support for the past few years. host: victoria's waiting on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. i tuned in a little bit ago. i don't know if you mentioned -- we have been voting by mail for years out here, for all of our elections local and national. , now we have the motor voter law and people have to provide a lot of documentation when they go to the department of motor vehicles and they can register their, and it is an unaffiliated registration if they choose not
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to affiliate with anyone. know, you get a voter pamphlet for every election so you can really read up on the issues. easy for people, especially in the rural areas. why doesn't every state do something like that and make it easy? jennifer: you mentioned a new initiative in oregon which goes by the new motor voter law. it is actually a form of automatic registration in which eligible citizens who interact with eligible agencies get registered to vote unless they say they don't want to. currently, the default in many states is that the voter has to take the initiative to get registered to vote and a lot of people end up falling through the cracks as many states a very long registration deadlines and people simply miss the opportunity to get registered to vote.
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so you mentioned, why isn't everybody making it easier for people? that is a great example of a state trying to make it easier for people to get registered and participate. in the first few months of the implementation of this automatic voter registration program oregon has seen not only the jump up,ation rolls where more and more eligible citizens are getting put on the rolls, but they have also seen turnout jump up among those people who were automatically registered. so that is a great example of a state making it easier rather rather than more difficult for thele to get into participation. host: pleasanton. california, grace is waiting. republican. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. the reason i call as i work for i saw what happened during a union and election years. i saw our representatives giving out registration forms and
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having illegals fill them out. they would fill out the voter information so that these people that didn't know how to speak or write english would vote for the right people. how do you stop that? jennifer: certainly, people who are not eligible to vote should not be registering to vote. if there is somebody that is perpetrating that, that is something that should be reported, certainly. i do not think any of us want to stand for that kind of fraud being perpetrated, so i would encourage people who actually see something like that happening to reach out to elected officials and let them know what is going on. however that is not a widespread , problem. the studies that have been done looking at instances of different types of voter fraud
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often include instances of folks who are not eligible citizens who end up on the voting rolls. a lot of times that is a mistake. they think because they are allowed to get a driver's license that means they are allowed to vote, and they had up on the rolls because there is confusion. many times, they do not attempt to vote. that is something that does in fact happen sometimes, and those people, often, the mistake is brought to their attention and they are taken of the roles but that is also not a widespread problem. there is a study out of arizona where they looked at instances two 2012 of voter fraud, and they used that term very largely. another part of it was looking at in eligible people ending up
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on the roles. they found that it happened, but they found that out of one million ballots cast over that time, that the number was below 1000. so it does happen, but is a small problem compared to the number of votes cast overall in -- overall, and certainly every , effort should be made so that people are not accidentally signing up for something they are not eligible to sign up for. host: helen is an maryland. a democrat. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i am listening to ms. clark speak, and my mom and most of my family live in alabama and florida. there were some things that took place in alabama last year where they shut down most of the mva where people could not going to -- not go in to even get to the building and make their vote at all.
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my mom right now is still alive and doing very well. she is 91 years old, she has always voted when she got the opportunity. but now with all these restrictions, people do not 91-year-oldhat a woman brought into the world by a midwife is not going to have a birth certificate but she is , still a citizen of this country. we should make it easier for people to vote. the biggest violations are the ones who are making it difficult for people not to vote. my last opinion on this is, in the workforce in alabama, where a lot of my family work, their hours are shifted on voting days where they cannot get in there within the hours allotted for voting. some of my family members are also told not to vote. so, when their days off are saturdays and sundays, a lot of those days were shut down, too.
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what is your organization -- or is your organization looking at these instances? jennifer sure. : you mentioned alabama's specifically, where your family lives, and there is a lawsuit ongoing in alabama right now to push back against the photo id law. it does not look like we are going to have a decision before this november, but there is an ongoing lawsuit there. because, as you mention, alabama is one of the states that has recently made it harder for citizens to vote despite the fact there are people without the id you need to vote in alabama. you talk about your mother and it is wonderful that she still cares so passionately about her right and responsibility to vote at 91 years old. that is wonderful to hear. in the trial in texas, we saw a lot of people exactly like her
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, who were born 80 plus years ago. many times, particularly if they were african-american citizens, they were not born in a hospital. plenty of them were born in places where hospitals would not take african-american women to give birth at the time. they were born at home with a midwife and never got the documentation they needed, but they were born in the united states. and those people have worked very hard to get the id they need and still oftentimes have come up short. who had woman in texas to save $42 to get her out of state birth certificate. she had to mail an application for the birth certificate and pay to get it printed and mailed back and that cost $42. ,her and her husband live on a fixed income. i think he is a bus driver. they live on in income of $300 a month and are feeding a family on that. they saved for about six months
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to put money aside in an attempt to get her a birth certificate. they eventually did. the cost of voting should not be so high for people who are eligible citizens and simply want to use the same rights they have been using since they were 18 or 21 years old. host: len's in richmond, indiana. an independent. caller: hello. thank you so much and thank you c-span for having such a great public service. i would like to speak with ms. clark about the federal prison system and the state prison system. i did some work with a sheriff in jackson county kentucky. i would like to let her know about something that she might want to look into, and that is the candidate id numbers. just to make sure they have not been compromised. those candidate id numbers, back
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in 2014, were tied directly to unverified illegal immigrants in the federal prison system. we could not get voter id, so he had me count. those candidate id numbers were tied, every one of them, to unverified illegal immigrants in arizona federal prisons. host: this is something you have looked into? jennifer: it is not something i've looked into or heard of. again, i would really urge callers who have truly first-hand seen something like that to reach out to their local election officials, because local election officials are very invested in the system and truly want those who are eligible to vote to be able to vote and want to make sure the electoral process is secure.
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because, that is their job. i cannot speak to that incident , but i think your local election officials are a wonderful resource if you need to ask a question of somebody or if you have firsthand experience of a concern about electoral integrity. host: helen is a republican. good morning. caller: good morning. i enjoy your program. my opinion is that because there are so many states that have so many different issues regarding ids, verification, regards to voting, my suggestion is every four years, when the presidential election is up for grabs, that the people in each state submit certain issues, problems regarding id verification issues, to be put on the ballot. and once the elections are over
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and the various issues from all the states are combined and put on the ballot, people go through them. every state has the same issue basically the different issues in depth. that way, all the people throughout the whole united states could vote on them, like once they get there retribution back from the governor -- everybody should be able to vote. legislatively, it would take 20, 30, 40 years because every , state, again, has the same issues but they are inherently different. vote on it once and for all. in the meantime, work with your legislators. work with somebody. host: jennifer clarke, the last 30 seconds. jennifer: states actually have
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the power to set qualifications for voting in each individual state. that is something that under our , constitution, they are given authority over, so that is why it has to be decided on a state-by-state basis. however that authority is , blocked in by things like the voting rights act and the constitution. you cannot have qualifications that are unconstitutional or violate people's voting rights under federal protection such as the voting rights. that is the lawsuit that we are seeing now. states have crossed the line and thatstates have crossed the line and are going to far in restricting the ability of who can vote. host: jennifer clarke is a council at the brennan center for justice. thank you so much for your time this morning. >> we invite you to watch all of the oral arguments and programs in this issue spotlight on the precinct election and voting rights in their entirety. our video library at c-span.org. >> book tv is live beginning at
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7:00 p.m. eastern at politics and prose bookstore in washington for "race in america," a panel discussion about race relations in examining relations in the african-american community. urban radio network's washington bureau chief and author of "the presidency in black and white" moderates. other panelists include a correspondent and author of "fracture." princeton's center for african american studies chair, the president emeritus of bennett college for women. victoria christopher murray, author of "stand your ground." and university of baltimore school of law interim dean and author of "ghosts of jim crow."

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