Fresh off his candid appearance
at a California panel on minority voter disenfranchisement last week, Voting Rights Section chief John Tanner will get to air his views to Congress.
After initially rebuffing
a request for Tanner to appear, the Justice Department has agreed to send him along for a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. A date for the hearing hasn't yet been set.
There will be plenty to ask Tanner about, and not only his view that voter ID laws don't significantly hurt minorities because "they die first." The focus of the hearing is likely to be his role in forcing through an approval of a controversial, and ultimately halted, Georgia ID law in 2005 over the objections
of the career lawyers and analysts on his staff.
âIâm pleased that the administration has finally reversed course and agreed to allow Mr. Tanner to testify,â said the subcommittee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). âI hope that he will be as willing to provide lawmakers with the same candid views he has been providing at various public venues.... This hearing will also offer lawmakers the ability to address the serious concerns about the many controversial positions the Voting Rights Section has taken in the last few years.â