The Corner

Re: Literally

So DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is doubling down on her contention that Republicans “like voter suppression laws that target minorities” and laws that “restrict access to the ballot box for all kinds of voters, but particularly young voters, African-American voters, and Hispanic Americans.”

Wasserman Schultz might be comforted to know that there’s an army of voting-rights lawyers in the Justice Department salivating (figuratively, not literally) at the prospect of swooping down on any such Republicans and ripping any proposed laws to shreds if they have even the slightest impact — real or imagined — on minority voters (but not, as the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights investigation into the New Black Panther Party case revealed, if the voters affected are white).

Voter-photo-ID laws and the like are targeted at those ineligible to vote, regardless of race. If Wasserman Schultz is concerned that photo-ID requirements have a disparate impact on minorities, she’s bought into a stereotype that minorities are too poor or feeble to obtain photo IDs. Evidence adduced before the commission on this very issue shows that it’s not unusual for minorities to have more photo documentation than white voters, in part because the former cohort have a greater probability of being involved in government-sponsored programs that issue IDs. Moreover, voter-ID requirements usually provide for the issuance of free, subsidized, or alternative IDs for the poor, regardless of color.

Wasserman Schultz might also be interested in the uncontroverted commission testimony of former Justice Department Voting Section attorneys Chris Coates and J. Christian Adams that DOJ won’t enforce Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act — designed to ensure that ineligible voters don’t vote. That, combined with lax voter-ID requirements . . . well, you get the picture.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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