U.S. Supreme Court Overturns 2004 Arizona Voting Law


Supreme Court Justices

By a vote of 7-2, with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia writing for the majority, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 2004 voting law that required proof of citizenship when registering to vote.  The Court said it was enough to ask voters to check the box that states they’re citizens without requiring proof of citizenship.  It essentially, ruled that Federal law trumps state law when it comes to voter registration.  In the majority opinion, Justice Scalia said that, a “1993 federal law designed to make it easier to register to vote took precedence over Arizona’s requirement.”  The 1993 law requires that voter registration be offered when applying for a driver’s license.  It made it easier for people to register to vote and was in large part enacted because of low U.S. voter turnout and to encourage people to vote.  Justice Scalia continued, “the federal law precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself”.  Immigrant rights groups hailed the decision.  Nina Perales of the Mexican American Legal Defence and Education Fund said, “The ruling sends a strong message that states cannot block their citizens from registering to vote by superimposing burdensome paperwork requirements on top of federal law.”  Only Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito dissented.  In his dissent, Justice Thomas wrote, “The US constitution authorizes states to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections.”  One final note; Justice Scalia is often attacked by liberals as being an extreme conservative who rules only by his conservative values.  When in reality, Justice Scalia is a brilliant man, who simply interprets the Constitution as he sees it.  He understands that the U.S. Supreme Court is not a legislative body and exists to interpret Constitutionality of laws and statutes put before the Court; nothing more, nothing less.  And for that, he should be commended.

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