Supreme Court Strikes Down Proof-of-Citizenship Provision in Proposition 200

Categories: News
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These guys.
An Arizona law requiring people provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote in federal elections is unconstitutional, says the U.S. Supreme Court.

Even after being recalled from office, ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce is still losing, as Pearce takes credit for authoring Proposition 200, which was passed by voters in 2004.

See also:
Russell Pearce's Latest Loss: 9th Circuit Swats Down Racist Provision of Prop. 200

In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that the law was preempted by federal law, which is the result of a long-fought court battle who alleged the law is discriminatory against several minority groups, including Latinos and Native Americans.

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 requires states to "accept and use" a federal form to register voters for federal elections. That form requires that registrants attest, under penalty of perjury, that they're citizens.

Under Prop 200, elections officials had to toss out any registration form that didn't come with proof of citizenship, beyond just the signature attesting that the person's a citizen.

That does not qualify as "accept[ing] and us[ing]" the federal form, according to the Supreme Court.

Read the ruling, authored by Justice Scalia, below:

Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. by mhendleyNT



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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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76 comments
Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

Might as well let them buy firearms without proof of anything too. We're already giving them free welfare, education, healthcare, cellphones, and fast food...what a joke this country is becoming.

robert_graham
robert_graham topcommenter

Absolutely absurd BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO BE A US CITIZEN TO VOTE.

The law is needed to stop non-Americans from voting in elections but you fuck-ass opponents see it as an attack on minorities, immigrants and the elderly.  

Really? Do you also think that when you go into a store to buy something, you are asked for ID when you write a check?  Do you also think it is an attack on minorities, immigrants and the elderly to have to show ID to open a bank account? And do you also think it is an attack to be required to show ID to buy cigarettes and beer?  Hogwash!

Because of this stupid ruling I am going to apply for a passport (I have always wanted to get one) and when I am asked to provide proof of my citizenship I will remind them that I should not have to provide it and that my swearing I am a citizen should be sufficient enough. If I am refused and I know I will be, I will sue.

This ruling is just another stepping stone to allow illegal aliens the opportunity to vote.

Cozz
Cozz

Jaffy should be committing suicide right now, wonder if he needs any help.

marcy
marcy

Jan Brewer said "We are going to appeal this to the .... umm ... to the umm ... umm we will appeal and we will win when we appeal because we will!"

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Good and proper ruling.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

So, some folks on the right are complaining that people don't have to provide proof of their background when registering to use their right to vote.  I wonder how they feel about proving proof and having their background checked and registering when buying a gun.

MPX1
MPX1

"An Arizona law requiring people provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote in federal elections is unconstitutional, says the U.S. Supreme Court."

 That is NOT what the Supreme Court said. The Supreme Court said that Arizona cannot require proof of citizenship only when someone is registering using the federal voter registration form. So the citizenship requirement is still valid when using the state form. Moreover, the decision suggests a process by which the state could reinstate the requirement by asking the Election Assistance Commission, `which oversees the federal form, to include the state specific requirements.

This is NOT a sweeping decision declaring the requirement of citizenship documents broadly unconstitutional. It is a very narrow one decided over the conflict between the constitutional power of Congress to regulate federal elections and the constitutional power of the state to determine who is eligible to vote.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Requiring proof of citizenship from everybody who registers to vote is not racism and SCOTUS didn't suggest that it was.

The effect of the ruling was to force Arizona to verify citizenship of registered voters instead of requiring proof of citizenship at the time of registration.  This will cost more, of course, but hey, it's only our tax money.

ReggieVV
ReggieVV

It must be wonderful being a tea party Republican and knowing you cannot convince the majority of citizens on the wisdom of your ideas. The only way you win an election is to suppress as many voters who are not over 60, white and with lower educational level , as possible, and to gerrymander the heck out of Congressional districts.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan  

WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH!!!!!

Would someone please get JAFfy his Joe Arpaio Penis pacifier and shut that whiny little shit up!!!

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@Cozz Help in what way?  Calling his family to stop it, or sending him links to Dr Kevorkian's website?  :)

robert_graham
robert_graham topcommenter

@marcy If the citizenship requirement cannot be asked because the form does not request it, it's time the form is changed to ask.  

robert_graham
robert_graham topcommenter

@WhoKnows The next time you try to write a check for groceries I dare you to refuse to show ID and expect your check to be accepted.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

Let's talk private sales, OK?  What checks are required when you buy a gun or ammo that way?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows  You should learn a little about the existing gun laws, if you're going to be expressing opinions about what new gun laws are needed.   Seems reasonable, doesn't it?

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

When buying a firearm, government issued ID is only required to prove identity and residence. Citizenship is merely affirmed, just as on the Federal voter registration form. There is no gun registry in this state.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative 

So, everyone should provide proof of their background and register when buying a gun, correct?  If not, why not?  Voting is a right, after all!

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ReggieVV  Actually, every poll showed that a majority of Arizonans believe that only citizens should be allowed to register to vote.  I'm surprised you believe otherwise.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan @Flyer9753  

wah wah wah.... here's your pacifier (handing JAFfy a Joe Arpaio penis pacifier)

Would you like some cheese with your WHINE?????

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan @WhoKnows I don't write checks for food.  I use a debit or credit card.  Never asked for ID with either.


Only a loony still writes checks.  Thanks for proving it!

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows  Ammo is not regulated.  Sales of firearms require that you not sell to anybody who can't legally own the gun in his home state, if you could reasonably know that.  While you don't have to do a formal background check, you can be reasonably expected to ask for proof of residence.

robert_graham
robert_graham topcommenter

@jonnyquest Ok then, if I apply for a passport the only thing I should have to show is my drivers license, right?

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@ValleyNative 

valley, what proof is needed for private sales?  Something like 40% of the "sales" occur without a licensed dealer involved.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows  Show proof of citizenship (and residence in Arizona), yes,  register, no.  The purpose of voter registration is that you're actually going to be using your right to vote at some point in the future.  The same doesn't apply to firearm purchases, unless you choose to register with the State and submit to a background check (and pass a class).  If you do that, you can just show your CCW card instead of undergoing any sort of background check.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@WhoKnows Are you arguing that you agree with the ruling and the lack of regulation of private gun sales?  You seem to be framing them in the same context.  Is that your intent?

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @WhoKnows Actually valley,the title needs to be transferred, even if the other party doesn't want to register it.  You ever heard of a "salvage title"?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows  a private sale is, as the word might suggest, private.  The law tells you what you're not allowed to do in a private sale, but it can't be enforced, which is why the recent attempt at "universal background checks" was such a joke.

If I sell a car, I don't have to transfer the title and he doesn't have to register it. UNLESS he chooses to drive it on public streets.  If he chooses to only operate in on his own acreage, it's nobody else's business. 

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @WhoKnows So now buying a gun is like voting at the Elks club?  Can you sell a car to a friend and not transfer the title?  Not if you and your friend have a brain, as that is the only way to actually transfer legal ownership.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows I don't have to register to vote in a private club's election, either.  What's your point here?  Every time I've bought a gun, whether at a gun store or at a gun show I've been asked to show proof of Arizona residency.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@jonnyquest  On the form you sign, you only affirm citizenship, but one of the fields on the form is for your driver license number or similar ID as supporting evidence.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

I'm not talking about a passport. TO...BUY...A ...FIREARM one merely affirms citizenship.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows @valleynative  We shouldn't expect laws to change behavior.  Behavior is only changed if people are punished for disobeying the law, and in the case of private sales, there's virtually no way to detect them, so no way to punish anybody.  The same is not true of speeding.  People are fairly often caught.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @WhoKnows 

Valley, so, we shouldn't TRY?  Heck, let's do away with speed limits, as speeders will ignore them anyway!

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @WhoKnows 


How many people have been arrested for selling a gun in a private sale and not asking for ID as part of the sale?  Very few.  You ever been to a gun show?  And I mean the guys selling outside the show.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows If they don't ask for id, and sell to somebody who isn't allowed to own, they've broken the law.  Making something illegal doesn't stop it from happening you know.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @WhoKnows 

Good for you valley, but what about all the other people that have sold a gun in a private sale?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows That 40% figure is from the 1970's and included all sales from stores that weren't specifically "gun stores" plus all inheritances and gifts.  At that time, before background checks, you could buy shotguns and small pistols at most department stores.

Personally, I wouldn't sell to anybody I didn't know personally or who didn't have an Arizona CCW card to show that he's passed a background check, but the law only requires that you not sell to anybody who wouldn't be allowed to own the gun in his home state  or who you should reasonably know isn't allowed to possess a gun for any reason.  It doesn't specifically say that you have to ask for proof, but you'd be a fool not to ask to see a Driver License, at least.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@yourproductsucks @WhoKnows @valleynative 

If the part year folks are registered where they live for 9 months a year and are again registered in AZ where they live for 3, that is illegal, YPS.  Notice I did NOT state my belief as "fact", just that "I'd bet...".

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @WhoKnows valley, I'd bet that there are more cases of part year residents (aka "snow birds") illegally registering to vote in AZ than there are cases of people in the country illegally registering to vote.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@valleynative@WhoKnows 

" The point is that we can't know how often it happens.  The recorder doesn't have any authoritative way to prove citizenship, or this wouldn't be an issue."

The real point is, let's give the recorder a way to do that part of their job correctly, rather than a round about way of fixing it that doesn't really fix it and impacts legal US citizens who do have the right to vote and should not be made to jump through any more hoops than you or I (assuming you are a Caucasian).

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows  The point is that we can't know how often it happens.  The recorder doesn't have any authoritative way to prove citizenship, or this wouldn't be an issue.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @WhoKnows valley.  It it happened often, you don't think that MCSO would have setup "poll sweeps" years ago?  The recorder does do validation of registrations too...

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @marcy 


Valley, I wouldn't mind seeing the requirement that kids pass the equivalent of the US Citizenship test to graduate HS.  Make it part of AIMS!

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows @valleynative  How would you know if people in the country without papers were rushing to the polls?   Serious question.  How do you know?

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @WhoKnows No valley.  Only citizens can vote.  But I've never seemed people in the county without papers rushing to the polls either!

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ExpertShot What do you think the purpose of voter registration is?  It's to pre-qualify voters so they don't have to prove their right to vote at the poll.  As such, allowing people who are not qualified to vote to register is just a bit silly, wouldn't you say?

I'm not sure what Constitution you're reading where the right to vote is UNFETTERED.  You have to be a citizen above 18 years of age.

As for the question of whether or not it happens, think for a moment.  If you're not allowed to ask for proof of citizenship, how in the world can you possibly say that only citizens are voting?

Of course there are few cases prosecuted, if you can't detect them.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@marcy That's right.  If they want to vote, they can choose to become citizens, just like in every other country, and just like the Constitution says.

Sometimes I wish we could require some basic tests of history and government before allowing citizens to vote.

marcy
marcy

@valleynative @WhoKnows 

So taxation without representation is OK with you?

Why, for example, do you think legal permanent residents should not be entitled to vote?  They live her, they work here, they pay taxes here, they are subject to the laws here.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@valleynative@WhoKnowsYou are conflating registering to vote with actually voting.  You must know the difference, yet you insult people who you think don't share the same ignorant interpretation as you do.  Popeye can register to vote, but he will not be granted that right by the Registrar of Voters because they will not be able to confirm his citizenship (he's a cartoon character remember).  The County Registrar is responsible for determining these things.  The right vote is UNFETTERED in the constitution where as the right to bear arms DOES come with restrictions.  You claim you are a proponent of the U.S. Constitution, yet you try to limit the freedoms we enjoy as citizens.  There are so few instances of people voting who were not qualified to do so in Arizona, in the last 50 years, they number less than 100, if that much.  Hell, if you're so concerned about it, let's just let non-citizens vote then we'll not have to worry about it.  I'm sure there will plenty of non-citizens voting in favor of the Republicant candidates!


http://tucsoncitizen.com/arizona-lincoln-republican/2012/10/15/does-the-u-s-have-a-problem-with-illegal-non-citizen-voting/

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows 

Are you really going on record as saying that you don't believe that voting should be limited to citizens?

Do you really not see how incredibly stupid it is to compare wanting only citizens to vote to wanting slavery?

You're just so completely arrogant that you can't see how stupid you sound, aren't you?

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