says Republicans 'intended' to suppress minority vote
It has become a battle of the experts as the Texas voter i.d. law remains up in the air in a Washington DC courtroom, but there was no shortage of overheated rhetoric on the witness stand.
"This bill has everything to do with race," State Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) told the three judge federal panel. "They knew what they were doing and what they intended to do," Ellis said.
Ellis said Republicans who hold a majority in the State Senate and a supermajority in the State House 'intended' to disenfranchise minority voters by passing the voter i.d. bill.
Ellis presented no evidence to back up his claims, but he did compare passage of the voter i.d. bill to the racist murder of black man James Byrd, who was dragged behind a pickup truck by three white supremacists back in the summer of 1998.
Much of the testimony now is between experts for the state and for the Justice Department, which threw out the Texas voter i.d. law as being a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Daron Shaw, a professor at the University of Texas, testified that the new voter identification requirements 'would not affect voter turnout.'
Shaw also testified that the law does not 'disproportionately impact one race over another.'
In other to maintain the denial of the law, the Justice Department must show not that it disenfranchises of disqualifies all voters, but that it disenfranchises minority voters disproportionately.
Lawyers for the Justice Department say Shaw has no credibility since he is a supporter of former President George W. Bush.
The trial will wrap up tomorrow.