Arizona Law Upheld
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld two election restrictions in Arizona that a lower court said discriminated against minority voters, a decision that suggests it will be harder to successfully challenge a series of new laws passed by state lawmakers after the 2020 election. On the last day before its summer recess, the Supreme Court issued an important decision on the right to vote, which will make it more difficult to challenge election regulations under the Voting Rights Act. By a 6-3 vote, the judges upheld two Arizona election rules that were challenged by Democrats and civil rights groups as disproportionately burdensome for minority voters. In a statement by Justice Samuel Alito, the majority described what it called an “indicator” for future challenges to the right to vote under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting practices. The court`s three liberal justices disagreed, with Judge Elena Kagan complaining that Thursday`s decision “undermines Section 2 and the law it provides.” The Supreme Court upheld the Ballot Collection Act under the 15th Amendment and section 2. The majority argued in a statement by Judge Alito that the electoral law did not intentionally discriminate against the U.S. Constitution and did not dilute the votes of racial minorities in violation of Section 2. The majority recognized the state`s compelling interests in (1) preventing intimidation of voters by third-party ballot collectors, and cited the concerns of minority leaders and organizations concerned about the intimidation of older Latino voters; and (2) prevent the purchase of votes due to the undue influence of ballot collectors who attempt to buy votes. The court also noted that Arizona law added four different types of groups capable of delivering mail-in ballots, whereas originally only voters themselves could vote.
In contrast, in a statement by Judge Kagan, dissent questioned whether Arizona`s stated interests were sincere, stating that “states can all too easily get away with offering non-racial but purported rationalizations” (internal quotation marks omitted). The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld two controversial Arizona election laws in a ruling that risks making it harder for civil rights activists to challenge new voting rules here and across the country that they say will disproportionately affect people of color. The court`s 6-3 decision upheld Arizona`s voting rights limits, which a lower court had found discriminatory under the federal voting rights law. It was the second major Supreme Court decision in eight years that civil rights groups and liberal dissenting judges say weakened civil rights-era law designed to eliminate discrimination in voting. Recommended quote: Amy Howe, Court atholds Arizona voting restrictions, limits cases under Voting Rights Act, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 1, 2021, 12:56 PM), www.scotusblog.com/2021/07/court-upholds-arizona-voting-restrictions-limits-cases-under-voting-rights-act/ A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld two Republican-backed election restrictions in Arizona, rejecting allegations that they discriminate against minority voters and impose new limits on the historic voting rights law. Thursday`s decision says Arizona did not violate the voting rights law when it passed a law in 2016 that only allows voters, their family members or caregivers to collect and deliver a full ballot. The court also upheld a long-standing state policy that requires election officials to inadvertently cast ballots cast in the wrong districts.
The Supreme Court also agreed with the District Court and the Ninth District Panel that the electoral law should be upheld in the districts. The majority felt that there was no discrimination under Section 2 because the various effects on minorities were statistically insignificant (only 0.15% of all votes cast in 2016 were outside the county), that county policy had no discriminatory effect, and that Arizona`s policy was to train election workers to direct voters to the right districts and count ballots. whether the elector was able to provide proof of residence in the electoral district. Election law expert Richard Pildes of New York University School of Law added that the court could have narrowly upheld Arizona`s laws, as the Biden administration had proposed, but the court`s conservative majority switched to closures. In his majority opinion, Justice Alito wrote that laws are unlikely to violate the law if they are like laws that existed forty years ago or like laws that exist in many states today. WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld two election laws in the 2020 Arizona Battlefield State that challengers say made it harder for minorities to vote. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who defended the state`s law, said on Twitter, “I am grateful that judges have maintained the ability of states to pass and maintain reasonable voting laws at a time when our country needs them most.” On July 1, 2021, in a 6-3 statement, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld several election laws in Arizona despite allegations of racial discrimination in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee.
The Supreme Court overturned a bench opinion in the Ninth District, approved the initial Ninth District Panel and the Opinions of the District Court, and refused to repeal a law passed by the state legislature. A key question was how to interpret section 2 of the Right to Vote Act, which prohibits national and local electoral laws that result in denial or shortening of voting rights on the basis of race or color. To prove a violation of Article 2, opponents must demonstrate, taking into account a set of circumstances, that the political process is not equally open to the participation of members of a particular race, as it provides fewer opportunities for members of that race to elect representatives of their choice. However, according to its text, article 2 does not establish the right to elect representatives who are in the same proportion as the representation of a racial group in the population. Alito wrote that because the efforts were new to the court, the majority did not announce a test to regulate all rules “indicating the time, place, or manner of voting.” Breyer could make such a decision at any time. But it is often at the end of a term that a retired judge reveals such plans. “This is a decision that will certainly make it easier for states to impose restrictions, make it harder for plaintiffs and districts to challenge these types of restrictions, and could really influence the outcome of close elections in the future,” said Kate Shaw, Cardozo law professor and legal analyst at ABC News. Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel called Thursday`s decision “a resounding victory for election integrity and the rule of law.
Democrats tried to make Arizona`s ballots less safe for political purposes, and the court saw through their partisan lies. In Arizona and across the country, states know better than anyone how to run their own elections. Election law expert Rick Hasen wrote on his blog that the decision had “significantly weakened” section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. He noted that this decision, along with others, has “removed all important tools available to continue electoral restrictions” over the past 15 years. Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias has promised that the legal dispute against the new laws will continue. “If anyone thinks this decision will prevent us from fighting for the right to vote, then they are wrong. We will fight harder with all the tools available to protect voters from oppressive laws,” Elias wrote on Twitter. There are strong partisan and ideological differences. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats prioritize facilitating legitimate voting, as do 62 percent of independents, who fall to 32 percent of Republicans. However, this means that a third of Republicans share this view, which is at odds with the National Party`s focus on the issue. In addition, “a strong and entirely legitimate interest of the state is the prevention of fraud,” Alito wrote. “Fraud can affect the outcome of a close election, and fraudulent votes dilute citizens` right to vote reasonably.
Fraud can also undermine public confidence in the fairness of elections and the perceived legitimacy of the announced result. President Biden said in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed” by the Supreme Court`s decision and that it caused “serious damage” to the voting rights law. “After all we`ve gone through to deliver on this nation`s promise to all Americans, we should fully enforce, not weaken, election laws,” Biden wrote. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill, H.R.1, that would have set federal standards and repealed provisions to suppress voters across the country, but in the Senate, opponents blocked consideration of the bill. Republicans argue that state restrictions are simply efforts to combat potential voter fraud and ensure election integrity. The two laws at the heart of Thursday`s case are not unusual. Other states have imposed restrictions on absentee ballot collectors, especially when fraudulent practices have been discovered.