Supreme Court Strikes Down Arizona Voter Law That Required Proof Of Citizenship


Proposition 200, Arizona’s 2004 law making it mandatory for would-be voters to provide proof of their citizenship, died before the U.S. Supreme Court today.

The Court ruled that Arizona does not command the jurisdiction to set requirements for voting in Federal elections. That jurisdiction, according to a 7-2 majority opinion, belongs to the Feds, as set forth in the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

That law does require that voters provide a valid form of identification at their polling place, but it doesn’t require a proof of citizenship. The Arizona law had ordered the State’s poll workers to turn away anyone who didn’t accompany a valid ID with a recognized document proving their citizenship.

Arizona v. Tribal Council of Arizona, the lawsuit that landed the case before the Supreme Court, was originally brought against the State by a number of American Indian tribes with help from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), all of whom argued that Proposition 200’s additional documentation requirements discriminated against citizens whose ancestry made it disproportionately difficult and expensive to obtain documentation, such as birth certificates, that demonstrate citizenship.

The Court’s majority opinion also affirmed the groups’ argument that Congress, and not the States, holds the authority for regulating Federal elections.

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas cast the two dissenting votes. Alito argued in his minority opinion that the Constitution tasks the States – and not Congress – with the authority to establish qualifications for voters, as well as to regulate Federal voter registration.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • James Andrews

    I think it may be time for the states to start deciding whether or not they want to continue to be part of this union, or whether they should secede! Our nation is going down a very bad and dangerous road right now. The idiots have elected a leftist President, who has in turn stacked the high court with traitors and leftists. This is bad. The states are supposed to have most of the powers anyway, not the Fed. Wake up people-your country is being flushed down the toilet!

    • Diane Ringen

      And Congress is helping it to happen.

      • James Andrews

        You’re correct Diane! I live in northern New England(Maine), and I sometimes wonder if we’d be better off seceding. We have a robust fishery, plenty of farmland still, a healthy,working forest industry, lots of game, etc. We do have the oldest population in the nation though.

        • JRR

          We have a very active secessionist organization in Texas. We could get along just fine without all the USBS. Assuming someone didn’t “accidentally” drop a bomb over Dallas or Houston, that is.

          • James Andrews

            I agree my friend! We’d need to keep trade routes open anyway, as this benefits all of us. But the feds are out of control, and have lost touch with We, the People! I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that right now, this nation as a whole is on a very bad path.

          • podunk1

            The problem is the Obama-Holder destruction of one vote rules. The ruling will allow massive voting fraud again. IT NEEDS RESOLUTION NOW in the senate and House! Drivers license is given out like pop corn – another good area to fire and jail those who work in gov the destroy it.

            If there is an indian problem, go to the reservation sit down with them & work out a citizenship thing if it has to be a sovereign indian thing that maintains their heritage.

        • Diane Ringen

          I am from the Midwest, Missouri. Yes, as our older citizens pass on, the views of our country may change very dramatically. I have grandchildren, and I worry about their future, but more importantly than that, their salvation.

          • James Andrews

            I agree Diane! I never had any kids, but I have a nephew, who just came home from Iraq, and I worry about the future for him and his younger brothers, my nephews.

    • Motov

      Instead of secede, All states should declare Washington DC (DC stands for “District of Criminals”) null and void and create a new federal government.
      One that will recognize the Constitution is the LAW of this land. Fire all the TSA agents, and the useless bureaucrats, Then we can get rid of “Obozoscare”, NAFTA, and a whole lot more.

  • Dwimby

    This is truly abhorrent, as was Robert’s cowardly decision on Obamacare. The Supreme Court now works for the White House. Totally abhorrent.

    • Robbie

      The court should work for you.

      • JRR

        The court SHOULD work for the people of America, not for a few elite (and that’s my NICE name for them).

        • Robbie

          The tendency people have is that when the court makes a decision they like they applaud and note that the court is doing a fine job. When the court makes a decision they do NOT like then suddenly the court is a bunch of scum bags who have sold out and don’t know what they’re doing. Folks on the right should take pause when they se even conservative members of the court side with the federal government position.

          • Elevenarrows

            Just because someone says they are “conservative” that does not mean they are, in fact, conservative. And, it has been a long time since I’ve applauded anything SCOTUS has done!

          • Robbie

            Yoy prove my point: when the court says what you like you applaud it and speak of the wisdom of the Founders for creating it. When you don’t like a ruling they become sell outs and folks who have not kept to the straight and narrow.

  • eagle

    The ruling is for federal elections. The state should regulate their own elections and those of city and county.

  • ralph

    I need ID to bay a fishing lic in PA

    • Robbie

      But you don’t need proof of citizenship now do you?

      • Elevenarrows

        Uh, Robbie, that’s because non-citizens can fish…but not vote. Shouldn’t you be taking your spelling test or eagerly awaiting recess at this hour?

  • tncdel

    Okay, so the Sup. Ct. says the feds have jurisdiction. However, since the feds aren’t performing their duty to enforce the law, AZ should follow that up with a MOTION TO COMPEL the feds to enforce the law. See: 28 USC Section 1361:

    • James Andrews

      You are correct!

    • podunk1

      DOUBLE AMEN TO THAT!!! THEN, NEED TO FILE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE COMPLAINTS AGAINST HOLDER! Got to get into the nitty gritty on who is a citizen & how you know they aren’t liars. A good lawyer could turn Holder inside out & upside-down.

      We need cameras in all voting areas – just like in gas stations, bars, stores, etc. get a good pict & ID on the 200% voting precincts where the dead arise on election day with due regularity!

  • Diane Ringen

    We have to show proof of citizenship in my state to vote.

    • Diane Ringen

      Does this mean that we are heading for- anyone from anywhere can vote in any state? Or, will we all have lost the right to vote long before that happens?

  • JoeySasa

    What else can be expected by the author of this decision, that commie Antonin Scalia

  • John W

    The supreme court has had a series of bad rulings, they, for some reason can’t read the document that is to be the founding basis of all of their decisions! It’s time that the states start telling the federal government, no. Why should Arizona pay any attention to the rulings of the federal government when the federal government refuses to enforce federal law protecting the state from invasion!

    • Diane Ringen

      The Executive branch has taken control of both the judicial and legislative branches. Very scary!

  • Jacque

    So, any country who wants to really thwart us can send a few hundred thousand
    of their persons over here and we have to let them vote??!! That is not even
    sensible, no other country lets none citzens vote, period! Mexico won’t let us

    come down and vote in their elections. Are we sick or what, it’s like we have

    a personal death wish as a country. Can God have mercy on us?

  • Motov

    No common sense exists in Washington DC, It seems to me every day our “Godzilla government” provides more reasons why we need to replace them ASAP

    • Diane Ringen

      I am very afraid this goes way beyond no common sense. This is just pure evil.

      • Robbie

        I’m willing to bed you never even heard the arguments in this case.

        • Frank Kahn

          Hearing the arguments is not necessary. The purpose of the law was sound, the supreme court made a mistake. We need laws that prevent non-citizens from voting.

          • Motov

            We need to enforce the laws on the books,..One way to prevent illegal aliens from voting is to deport them.

          • Robbie

            Hearing the arguments actually IS important. That is what courts do and that is how they make decisions. Don’t you know anything about the legal system set up by the Founders???

          • Frank Kahn

            Actually it was a Justice system that was created not a legal system.

            So, we need to address this on a basis of justice (what is just) not legal. Legal can be bad, just because something appears to be legal does not make it just (right). Lawyers seldom, if ever, argue for justice, they argue for what can win. This is a clear case of something being found to be legal without just cause.

            Voter ID’s, with photo, is justifiable (just), it is the only certain method of verifying that the person voting is the person named. It was found to be illegal (not legal) because it infringed on some poor persons right to vote?

            Proof of citizenship, to vote, is justifiable (just), because it is the only way to be certain that the person voting has that right / privilege. It was found to be illegal because, federal requirements supersede state requirements for voting? Having a valid state drivers license does not prove citizenship. Only citizens are allowed to vote, or should be.

            While it would be interesting to read what kind of BS was used to defeat this common sense law, it is not necessary to know, for the purpose of understanding the need for proof of citizenship when it comes to voting.

    • James Andrews

      You’re right on Motov! But I think we’d be better off without a fedral government period-we don’t need to replace them. The states could figure out trade laws, etc., and come up with a more efficient plan to keep our military and defense up to par.

  • CatGman

    The Supreme Court is a joke.Why have any election laws at all if anybody can vote without proving they are a citizen. How stupid can they be? Just how stupid are “we the people” to allow them to keep doing it. We must be the stupidest people on the face of the earth. God help us all.

  • Dagger

    We are watching America die before our very eyes!!! Every governmental department and agency is shot through and through with insanity and corruption.
    There is nothing sane or decent in America today!!!
    The Gestapo government has taken the stand that the American people are the enemy of the state. Does this sound like what happened in Nazi Germany before World War II ? How long will it be until we see the SS(NSA) troops patrolling our streets and highways? I am afraid it will not be much longer!!!

  • jim b

    Obviously they are in on it, or they just don’t get it, they’re next! Either way America is the loser. Next time I go to vote, I will dress up as a clown in celebration that no ID is necessary. I am who I am, because I am… good enough.

  • securityman

    the supreme court ,with the exception of the two, are backing obummers bid to make the illegals legal. that way he can have the votes to overturn the two-term limit and stay in the WH.