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

June 17, 2013 by  

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.

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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  • Donald Bradford

    The liberal justices don’t worry about what the Constitution says but I don’t understand the remaining members logic. If only citizens are allowed to vote how else do you make that determination ? Just do what the dems want and let everybody vote as many times as they like I guess. No wonder we can’t control our politicians anymore.

    • Theresa

      It’s to put the FEDs in charge of national elections which is dangerous! The FED is utterly corrupt! AZ needs to tell the Supreme Court and the FEDS to shove it, just like the rest if us!
      No more corruption!!!! Enough is enough!

      • Donald Bradford

        It would be nice but no one state has the means to back it up. Unless you can back it up what’s the point of defying the federal govt. George Wallace did it and it did nothing.

      • Ron r

        George Wallace is a bad , in fact a very bad example of defying the federal government , heck the government took his militia ,federalized them and walked over his dumb a&&.

    • Ron r

      When did voting multiple times become epidemic ?? And what does proof of citizenship have to do with it?? Someone with two IDs could vote twice just like a person with one ID. In fact maybe easier.

  • Theresa

    This is serious business! It’s time the people take back the courts!
    What the Supreme Clurt has done is allow the FEDS to control national elections. The FED is already utterly corrupt! Look at the IRS and DOJ “scandals,” they were a direct ASSULT against conservative Americans! Now we are to trust them with elections? I think not!

    • Ron r

      The majority of the court sided with the people and the constitution. There are more than 2conservatives on the court. It’s amazing that conservatives seem to think that only opinions that they like are constitutional .
      How the heck can you ask a Native American to prove citizenship. Besides , this had nothing to do with voter fraud and all to do with voter surpression.

      • Grant Grove

        The American Indians get our tax money so I think that they can join us, in the real world and get an ID at the Indian Affairs Office. Most indians drive cars with a drivers license.

      • Brad

        The only vote I want
        To surpress is one cast by someone who is not a citizen and not entitled to vote. Why is that such a difficult concept for you to grasp? Anyone who votes that is not entitled to could make my legitimate vote meaningless. Wouldn’t that bother you?

      • Ron r

        Some American Indians do not have birth certificates but have other forms of ID. Besides, the money they get from tax payees is a small price for tax payers when you consider the adverse consequences Americanism had on them . I can vote in Texas with no more than a gun permit .
        There were a record number of voter fraud cases in Arizona , 19 out of more than 2 million voters.

  • Grant Grove

    Are you kidding me. ID for beer, cigarettes, perscriptions but not required to vote. How can voter fraud be prevented? You must have proof of citizenship, that is constitutional requirment. What are these outrages liberal judges thinking?

  • Jim

    So I can go to Russia and vote? How about.Mexico? These lazy turds laying down their own self-serving interpretations of the law to suit what their masters want has gone far enough! Lock their treasonous asses up! Period, end of discussion!! The reason these sell-out scumbags do as they please is because there are absolutely no repercussions or liability, and because we allow them to get away with it. Lock one of them up for crimes they’ve committed, and there are plenty to choose from-that’s how they are kept in line to begin with, and the rest will sing like songbirds. They are sniffly little cowards, and REAL Men and Women are allowing them to dictate how they run their lives! Really? Hey, if you are just little, immature boys and girls, then go play in the sandbox, suck your thumbs, or go blow some bubbles! Get out of the way and let Mom and Dad take care of business!! You and your little friends will just have to change each others diapers!!! Any fully loaded diapers out there? Please feel free to respond

  • Brent black

    So we are down to two sain supreme court members. I think its safe to say we are finished. People with common sense can no longer out vote those without. That leaves very very few options for us.

  • shadow1776

    How else would people like Obama get elected. Come on guys

    • Ron r

      I think you mean a person like Bush. The court awarded him a stolen election. There were no factual voter fraud cited for either election of this president


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