Arizona Voting Case: Hey! We Won!

The headlines on the Arizona requirement that proof of citizenship be provided for voting registration billed it as a victory for the “if you breathe, you vote” side.

Not so, says PJMedia‘s shrewd legal analyst, J. Christian Adams. He explains: “The court ruled that Arizona could not require proof of citizenship when voters registered to vote using the federal form promulgated by the Election Assistance Commission [but] Arizona is still free to use the state form and require proof of citizenship.  They can hand out state forms and keep the federal forms in a dusty box in the back.”

(Adams is a former Department of Justice lawyer who regularly uses his platform at PJMedia to blow the whistle on DOJ political correctness and mendacity. See his book Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department.)

After thinking it over, Adams found even more good things in the decision. Left Loses Big in Citizenship-Verification Supreme Court Case. And in answering comments he drives home the point:

The only point that matters in relation to the federal form are the procedures that Scalia greenlighted today even if someone submits the federal form. You simply must understand the history of this fight to understand how significant this is. In the past, the left has argued that once the federal form is completed and submitted, there is nothing a election official can do. As a result, election officials all over the nation have been beaten into submission by the lefty groups regarding the federal forms. They do no checking whatsoever because the left has argued such checks would be preempted by federal law. Scalia today rejected that squarely and greenlighted extra checks. This means that Secretary of State Kobach in Kansas, for example, can continue to use federal noncitizen databases to check those federal form applicants. That means other double checks, like jury excusals can be used to block an improper federal form applicant. This is devastating to the ACORN style voter drives because the federal form was (before the opinion) seen as a no questions asked way to fill up the rolls with registrants, sometimes invalid ones. There are other great things in the opinion which I didn’t even address in the article because the EAC is a zombie agency right now. But conservatives up in arms about this opinion are displaying an unfortunate lack of understanding of the wider field of battle and focused on the enemy breakthrough in the Arizona sector.


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Author: "Ending 'Big SIS' (The Special Interest State) and Renewing the American Republic" (2012) [] and "Property Matters--How Property Rights Are Under Assault and Why You Should Care" (1997). Some former jobs: Assistant Director of Consumer Protection in FTC; member of the Program Analysis Staff of the US Bureau of the Budget; Research Director of the Administrative Conference of the United States; Director of IPCentral at the Progress & Freedom Foundation; VP & GC of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest. Graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, former Book Review Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

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