A Partial Victory

And from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, yet.  From an Associated Press article carried by Fox News, we learn that Arizona’s voter identification law has been upheld in important parts; although another important part has been struck down.

A 12-judge panel, rehearing an appeal from a 3-judge panel, upheld that prior panel’s ruling: that Arizona can, indeed, require identification from prospective voters at the polling stations before they are allowed to vote, but that the state cannot hold out for proof of American citizenship before registering to vote and getting that voter ID document.  On the latter, the Court held that the Federal government’s National Voter Registration Act, which does not require proof of American citizenship, overrides Arizona’s attempt to do so.

Arizona’s Attorney General Tom Horne expects that the US Supreme Court ultimately will have to resolve the question of whether Arizona can require proof of citizenship as a condition of voter registration.

The people of Arizona have a right to request that people registering to vote show some evidence they are citizens, and we fully expect the US Supreme Court to uphold that.

Indeed.  Critics argue that the voter ID law violates the rights of those denied registration to Constitutionally guaranteed equal protection.  However, those critics ignore, and the Supremes will have to consider in order to put this question finally to rest, that the equal protection rights of American citizens are violated by allowing non-citizens to vote and thereby dilute—and even override—the votes of those citizens.

Plainly, a state can allow non-citizens to vote in state and local elections, if it wishes.  However, they also can insist that only American citizens be allowed to vote in Federal elections conducted within the state.  They also can insist that only citizens of the state be allowed to vote in state and local elections.  Beyond the 14th Amendment’s equal protections guarantee (which, just by the way, carries its own requirement for voters for “electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof” to be “citizens of the United States”), the state and local choice questions are matters covered under the Constitution’s Article I, Section 10, which is carefully silent on this matter, and under the 10th Amendment.

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