FOOTAGE: Biden Court Nominee Argued Voter ID Requirements Are ‘Same Playbook’ As Jim Crow

FOOTAGE: Biden Court Nominee Argued Voter ID Requirements Are ‘Same Playbook’ As Jim Crow

A federal judicial nominee recently nominated by President Joe Biden told law school students two years ago that people who support voter ID laws have “privilege” and are going by “the very same playbook” as those who upheld Jim Crow-era voting laws, according to footage reviewed by The Daily Wire. The attorney, Natasha Merle, also said the GOP was trying to “scare people.”

Merle, an NAACP attorney, was included in Biden’s 13th round of nominees on January 19, according to a White House memo. She would work for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Merle prides herself on promoting “racial justice primarily in the areas of criminal justice, political participation and educational opportunities,” and was lead counsel in a case against former President Donald Trump accusing his election integrity commission of being “racially discriminatory.” She has taught law school courses such as “Racial Justice” at Columbia. 

In remarks given at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Virginia, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2020, Merle derided efforts by the legal system to investigate voter fraud as racist. 

“That’s the goal of investigations and prosecutions into unfounded allegations of voter fraud. To scare people from even attempting to exercise their right to vote,” she noted. 

About a minute later, Merle went so far as to say voter ID laws — a way for polls to ensure legal citizens are casting a ballot — are discriminatory toward black people. She referenced the Alabama legislature’s move mandating voter ID, which was upheld in court after the NAACP sued. 

On their face, photo ID laws may seem reasonable to some. The narrative is that you need a photo ID for everything. You need a photo ID to drive. You need a photo ID to cash a check. But if we check our privilege, we recognize this narrative is false. In many parts around the country, people do not have cars. They cannot afford cars. . . In spite [of] this the Alabama legislature still passed this law based on unfounded suspicion of voter fraud. . . The state refuses to accept government-issued public housing ID, which is overwhelmingly held by black voters and are government-issued.

According to Merle, who spoke for about an hour and fielded questions from students and professors, Republicans are going by “the very same playbook” Democrats did in suppressing voting during the 1960s. Merle could not be reached for comment. 

The unearthing of Merle’s comments comes on the heels of Biden putting forth another nominee named Nancy Abudu, who, as first reported by The Daily Wire, said “proof of citizenship” is “voter suppression.” This sentiment has been echoed by the president himself, who equated a Georgia law mandating photo ID to vote with “Jim Crow in the 21st century” and “Jim Crow on steroids.”

Earlier this month, Biden urged senators to pass legislation introduced by Democrats that would extend early voting, gut voter ID requirements, and allow no-excuse mail-in voting on the federal level. When questioned on his comments likening Republicans today to segregationists George Wallace and Bull Connor, as well as Confederate leader Jefferson Davis, Biden told reporter Philip Wegmann, “No, I didn’t say that.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a Daily Wire request for comment.

Send story tips to Gabe Kaminsky at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter. 

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