Stacey Abrams wowed her supporters on Tuesday (April 20) when she supplied a laundry list of reasons to Sen. Kennedy for why she feels Georgia's newly passed voting law is racist and restrictive. Abrams made the comments during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, in which she, Sen. Raphael Warnock and attorney Sherrilyn Ifill testified about the law in front of Republican senators.
Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, questioned Abrams on what components of the legislation she was against.
“Tell me specifically, just give me a list of the provisions that you object to,” he said.
The voting rights activist then launched into a laundry list of provisions that she found harmful.
“It shortens the federal run-off period from nine weeks to four weeks, it restricts the time a voter can request and return an absentee ballot application, it requires that voters have a photo identification or some other form of identification that they are willing to surrender in order to participate in the absentee ballot process...” she lists.
Sen. Kennedy continuously interrupted Abrams, appearing to believe that she didn’t have any more points to make; when in fact, she made several more.
“He assumes she won’t know her stuff (gee, wonder why). But then he learns... Don’t EVER underestimate Stacey Abrams,” one of Abrams’ supporters noted on Twitter.
Kennedy cut Abram off after roughly two minutes, saying, “I get the idea.”
Besides the Louisiana senator, Abrams also went head-to-head with Sen. John Cornyn. The Texas Republican asked Abrams if she believes the Georgia voting law is “a racist piece of legislation.”
“I think there are components of it that are indeed racist because they use racial animus as a means of targeting the behaviors of certain voters to eliminate their participation and limit their participation in elections,” she responded.
Sen. Cornyn fired back by asking if similarly restrictive voter laws in Democrat-controlled states — such as Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York — are also “racist.”
Abrams noted that those state’s laws “need to be improved,” but argued Georgia’s voting law is racist because Republican lawmakers only claimed there were issues with the state’s absentee voting process after minority communities used it “to their benefit” to elect Democratic officials in the state last year.
“The state of Georgia targeted communities that used these resources for the first time to their benefit,” Abrams said. “And that’s after 15 years of Republican-dominated use of absentee balloting, it suddenly changed its mind about the utility, the processing [and] the timeliness.”
“The intent always matters, sir, and that is the point of this conversation,” she added. “That is the point of the Jim Crow narrative; that Jim Crow did not simply look at the activities. It looked at the intent, it looked at the behaviors and it targeted behaviors that were disproportionately used by people of color.”
Watch Abrams respond to Sen. Kennedy on Twitter below.