Loretta Lynch on Whether Voter ID is “Racist”

Senator Vitter pressed Loretta Lynch in written questions if she believes voter ID laws are racist.  The written questions by Senator David Vitter:

“12. Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III
Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, former member of the Federal Election
Commission, and former Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at
the U.S. Department of Justice, and J. Christian Adams, former counsel for the Voting
Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice and blogger for PJ Media, wrote a
January 27, 2015 article in the National Review entitled “The Questions Loretta Lynch
Needs to Answer”. Please answer the following questions from their article:
a. Do you “believe, as Eric Holder does, that voter-ID laws are racist?”

RESPONSE: I cannot speak to Attorney General Holder’s views, nor do I have any categorical
views on these issues in the abstract. My general understanding is that the Department considers questions of the validity of voting practices, such as state voter identification laws, based on the particular requirements of the federal law being enforced, based on the particular facts of the practice being investigated, and based on the particular law and facts in the jurisdiction.

As the Supreme Court held in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, voter identification
laws are not per se unconstitutional. Nor do they necessarily violate the Voting Rights Act. I
understand that before the Shelby County decision, the Department did preclear some voter
identification laws, such as in Virginia and New Hampshire. The analysis of a voter ID law is very specific to the particular law, the particular jurisdiction, and a wide range of factors that Congress has identified as relevant to determining whether a particular voting practice comports with the Voting Rights Act. As such, it is difficult for me to comment on the merits of any law (or in the abstract) without a full understanding of how the law actually operates in a particular jurisdiction.”