The DoJ has filed an amicus brief in the Crawford case. Our own Michael Alvarez’s work is quoted on pg. 22.
I don’t have a horse in this race, and I’d never presume to speak for Michael, but I do want to make sure that scholarship is fairly represented.
It’s my reading that ABK are misquoted, or perhaps better, incompletely quoted. ABK found no differential racial impact but did find a differential impact by income and educational levels.
Here is the DoJ statement, followed by Alvarez, Bailey, and Katz’s full quote.
DOJ pg 22.
There is no basis to consider such extrarecord materials, but the most recent studies nevertheless undermine petitioner’s assertion of disparate impact. The Cal. Tech./M.I.T. study petitioners cite as evidence of the statute’s burden (Dem. Br. 34), actually states that “there does not seem to be a discriminatory impact of the requirements for some subgroups, such as nonwhite registered voters.”
ABK, pg. 21:
We find no evidence that voter identification requirements reduce participation at the aggregate level. At the individual level, voter identification requirements of the strictest forms — combination requirements of presenting identification and matching signatures, as well as photo identification requirements — have a negative impact on voter participation relative to the weakest requirement of stating one’s name. In general, there does not seem to be a discriminatory impact of the requirements for some subgroups, such as nonwhite registered voters. However, we do find that for registered voters with lower levels of educational attainment or lower income, stricter voter identification requirements do lead to lower turnout.