Senate Republicans blasted Democrats’ Judiciary Committee hearing on states’ new voting laws on Tuesday titled, “Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote,” saying the label of the session is offensive and shows a bias against election-security measures.
“I object to the title of this hearing,” said Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican. “I’m a fan of history. I try to learn from it. I don’t use it to try to insult my opponents.”
Democrats held the hearing with failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams and Sen. Raphael Warnock, Georgia Democrat, to discuss the efforts in Georgia — and other states — to pass new laws in the wake of 2020’s contentious election.
They claim the laws are aimed at disenfranchising minority voters.
“The title of this hearing is offensive and as a student of history, this title diminishes the very real challenges and unfairness that minorities endured in the Jim Crow South,” Mr. Grassley said.
Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, also spoke out against Democrats’ use of “Jim Crow” in holding the proceedings.
“It looks like today’s hearing is really just performance art in order to advance a false narrative about how far we have come in this country,” he said. “Using charged rhetoric … is misleading. It is not constructive and it undermines public trust.”
Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin, Illinois Democrat, defended the hearing’s purpose, saying newly enacted state laws are racially discriminatory but have been “dressed up” as bringing integrity to voting.
Mr. Warnock said recent state voting laws are “a full-fledged assault on voting rights unlike anything we have seen since the era of Jim Crow.”