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NBC's Mitchell: How Do We Stop All These GOP 'Voter Suppression Efforts'?

In an interview with California attorney general Kamala Harris during live MSNBC coverage of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, host Andrea Mitchell fretted: "I talked to Jesse Jackson earlier about all the voter suppression efforts, and what's happened since the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act. What can be done, from your perspective – obviously California has a majority of liberal officials, Governor Brown – but you see what's happening in Texas and North Carolina?" [Listen to the audio]

Harris seized the opportunity to proclaim: "The Voting Rights Act was created and designed to ensure equal access to the polls. And we know with the case of Texas and other places, that access is questionable. And that was the power of the Voting Rights Act, which was actually gutted by the Supreme Court decision, and I applaud Eric Holder and the Justice Department doing the work they're doing to fight, to make sure that all Americans have equal access to the polls."

As she began her rant over "voter suppression," Mitchell introduced Harris as being "one of the legal officers who is such an important part of completing the dream."

On Monday, Mitchell wondered if Republican "voter suppression laws" were actually "doing the Democratic Party a favor."

Here is a transcript of Mitchell's August 28 exchange with Harris:

1:12PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: I'm joined now by Kamala Harris, the attorney general of the state of California. Kamala, you're too young to have been here, but you are one of the legal officers who is such an important part of completing the dream.

KAMALA HARRIS: That's right.

MITCHELL: And I talked to Jesse Jackson earlier about all the voter suppression efforts, and what's happened since the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act. What can be done, from your perspective – obviously California has a majority of liberal officials, Governor Brown – but you see what's happening in Texas and North Carolina?

HARRIS: Well, first, let me say I'm just so excited to be here. I was not born 50 years ago. However, my parents met when they were active in the civil rights movement. So everything that was about the march 50 years ago, the dream, is – you know, I stand on the shoulders of all of these folks. I would not be the first African American woman attorney general of California were it not for those struggles and those fights. And today represents, I think, a renewal of a vow that we all are making to our commitment to equal rights and civil rights in our country.

In terms of the Voting Rights Act, it was one of the jewels of the civil rights movement. It was a great achievement. And I think Ruth Bader Ginsberg said it quite well, right? Which is that we need to understand that maybe it's not raining at one particular moment, that doesn't mean we put our umbrella away.

The Voting Rights Act was created and designed to ensure equal access to the polls. And we know with the case of Texas and other places, that access is questionable. And that was the power of the Voting Rights Act, which was actually gutted by the Supreme Court decision, and I applaud Eric Holder and the Justice Department doing the work they're doing to fight, to make sure that all Americans have equal access to the polls.

(...)