Supreme Court strikes down Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to vote

Article author: 
Pete Williams and Erin McClam
Article publisher: 
NBC News
Article date: 
17 June 2013
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down an Arizona law that requires people to submit proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

The vote was 7-2. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said that a 1993 federal law known as the Motor Voter Act takes precedence over the Arizona law because of its requirement that states “accept and use” the federal voter registration form.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, two members of the court’s conservative wing, dissented....

Citizenship is a requirement to vote in any federal election, and the federal registration form requires people to state, under penalty of perjury, that they are American citizens. States can use their own forms, but they must be equivalent to the federal form.

The Arizona law, known as Proposition 200 and adopted by Arizona voters in 2004, went further than the federal form by requiring applicants to provide proof of citizenship. Arizona has used the law to reject 30,000 voter applications, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

Challengers to the law argued that it put an extra burden on naturalized citizens. Using a naturalization document as proof would require an applicant to register in person, as opposed to through the mail, because federal law prohibits copying the document.

A federal appeals court said that Arizona had gone too far and essentially rejected the federal form. Arizona said it was not a rejection of the federal form any more than asking for ID at an airport is a rejection of a plane ticket....

Three other states — Alabama, Georgia and Kansas — have laws almost identical to Arizona’s and joined it in urging the court to uphold the additional requirement for proof of citizenship...

Arizona is known for its tough stance on immigration. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down some key provisions of a state law meant to crack down on illegal immigration.

But it let stand the most controversial part — a requirement that police making traffic stops check the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.



Activist courts are nothing new. Back in 2006, the predominantly Democratic Colorado Supreme Court issued a blatantly political surprise ruling on the Defend Colorado Now initiative to deny public benefits to illegal aliens in Colorado. The court said in effect that they did not want Coloradans to be able to vote on the initiative.

The current Supreme Court ruling flies in the face of rationality and national unity. Federal law already requires affirmation of elegibility to vote. Requiring proof of such elegibility at the ballot box is by no means an exceptional burden. Indeed, not requiring such proof would amount to gross negligence. 

When illegal aliens invaders (who owe their allegience to a foreign country) are allowed to vote in American elections, the end result will be the dismantling of the United States as we know it - and as envisioned by our Founding Fathers.