The court upholds Arizona voting restrictions and restricts cases under the Voting Rights Act

The court upholds Arizona voting restrictions and restricts cases under the Voting Rights Act



Opinion analysis

On the last day before the summer recess, the Supreme Court issued a Big decision The right to vote, which will make it more difficult to object to election regulations under the Voting Rights Act. With a 6 to 3 vote, the justices upheld the two voting clauses in Arizona. The Democratic Party and civil rights organizations questioned that these clauses placed a disproportionate burden on minority voters. In the opinion of Justice Samuel Alito, most people outline what it describes as a “road sign” for future challenges to the voting law. Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Prohibits racial discrimination in election practice. The three liberal justices of the court disagreed. Justice Elena Kagan complained that Thursday’s decision “undermined Article 2 and the rights it provides.”

One of the core clauses of this case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, Known as the “outside the region” policy. If the wrong district is chosen, it requires election officials to throw away the entire ballot. A voter whose name does not appear on the voting roster for a particular district is allowed to make provisional ballots, but if an election official later determines that she has voted in the wrong place, her entire ballot will be discarded-even if she is eligible to vote for statewide or national Offices, such as the governor or the president, her jurisdiction is irrelevant.

The second controversial provision prohibits what is sometimes called “ballot collection.” A state law enacted in 2016 made the collection and delivery of votes from others a felony (except for family members, caregivers, postmen, and election officials).

The Democratic National Committee filed a lawsuit in federal court in 2016, arguing that both restrictions violated Article 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed, but the Supreme Court decided to review the decision and overturned the decision on Thursday.

In his opinion, Alito observed that the Supreme Court has never considered the question of the law governing the “time, place, or method” of voting in Section 2. In contrast, voting rights advocates often use Section 2 to file a “vote dilution” lawsuit—a challenge to the redivision map accused of diluting minority voting rights.

Alito emphasized that the “core” of Section 2 is “requiring voting to be “equal and open”.” He added that deciding whether to vote is “equal and open” to everyone, all circumstances should be considered comprehensively. account.

Alito refused to provide an “exhaustive list” of circumstances that the court should consider to determine whether a law violated Article 2, but he outlined the “several important situations” he described, especially when they were added together At the time, it strongly indicated that it is difficult for the plaintiff to win the case in the case of arguing that the voting law violated Section 2. He first pointed out that the size of the burden imposed by the voting rules is “highly correlated.” “After all,” he wrote, “every voting rule brings a certain burden.” “Merely causing inconvenience,” he added, “not enough to prove a violation” of Article 2.

The court should also consider that Alito wrote next that the voting rules in question were different from the voting practices in 1982, when Congress revised Section 2 to prohibit any “policies or practices that lead to the deprivation or deprivation of any citizen’s rights”. The President of the United States votes based on race or color. “”[I]Related to this,” Alito emphasized, “In 1982, states generally required almost all voters to vote in person on election day, and only allowed absentee ballots in narrow and strictly defined categories of voters. In fact, Alito observed that in January 1980 “only three states allowed unexcused absentee voting”.

Alito went on to say that if the voting rules have a greater impact on certain races or ethnic groups than others, the court should consider the magnitude of this different impact. Just because there are some different influences, being alone does not mean that everyone does not have an equal chance to vote. Alito made it clear: “The size of any difference is important.”

Alito pointed out that the court should also consider the questioned voting rules and other opportunities it provides to voters in the context of the country’s entire voting system. Therefore, he writes, “If a state offers multiple voting methods, it is impossible to assess any burden on voters who choose one of the available options without considering other available methods.”

Fifth and finally, Alito concluded that courts should study the reasons why states want to implement specific voting rules. Alito made it clear that it is a “strong and completely legitimate national interest” to prevent voter fraud.

Taking these factors into consideration, Alito explained that none of the Arizona rules involved in this case violated Section 2. The only burden imposed by the out-of-constituency policy is to determine the appropriate polling station and then go there to vote-Alito believes this is a “typical example”[] The usual burden of voting. Alito emphasized that any racial differences in the impact of out-of-constituency policies are “small in absolute value.” In 2016, about 1% of minority voters were affected, and 0.5% of non-minority voters were affected. In addition, Alito added Road, the state has good reasons to want voters to vote at the designated polling station.

Alito wrote that the ballot collection restrictions also impose only one of the “usual voting burdens,” for example, requiring voters to return early ballots to the post office or drop box.In any case, Alito added that the state’s restrictions on the collection of votes to “prevent[] Potential fraud and improvement[] Voter confidence. “

In her objections, Kagan first pointed out that the Voting Rights Act “represents the best in America” but it also “reminds us of the worst in America” because “it was – and still – -Very necessary”. She wrote that Section 2 “is still in written form and broad in content-requiring every citizen of this country to have a magnificent and obvious right: the right to equal voting opportunities.” But in her ruling on Thursday, she Continue to say, “Article 2 and the rights it provides are undermined.”

Kagan argued that the court’s interpretation of Article 2 was too narrow because of concerns that the Voting Rights Act was too “radical” and that the statute “will invalidate too many state voting laws.” Kagan went on to say that the court then used this “narrow reading” to support the two provisions of “discrimination against minority voters.” Although this is not “how the court should interpret and apply the statute,” she wrote, “but sadly, ordinary criticism underestimates the problem.” “Sadly,” she concluded, “the court undermined the aim of achieving.” End voting discrimination’ regulations.”

This article is Originally published in Howe on the Court.


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