In a ruling which demonstrated just how radical is the Obama Administration’s opposition to Voter ID laws, the very liberal U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Arizona’s voter-approved 2004 law requiring voters to show proof of citizenship before receiving a ballot – a big victory in the battle against voter fraud in the runup to the November elections.
The Appeals Court mostly shot down the challenges to the law, which had itself been upheld in Arizona U.S. District Court. Arizona can demand to see certain forms of identification that proves citizenship, the court ruled.
And if someone doesn’t have those forms of ID, paying the fees to obtain the ID isn’t the same as a “poll tax.”
However, the court also ruled that Arizona must not refuse federal voter registration forms, which work on the honor system by asking applicants to check a box indicating whether they’re U.S. citizens. Arizona can’t replace that form with its form that requires proof of citizenship, the court ruled. This is a remnant of the ultra-flawed National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“Motor Voter Act”), which SWA has urged Congress to modify in future legislation.
But overall, the ruling is a major victory for Arizona voters, who overwhelmingly approved the law, and for Americans who support Voter ID laws with 73% support, according to a poll published just yesterday. And it may also be a preview of defeats yet to come for the Obama Administration’s block of state Voter Id laws. including in Texas and South Carolina. Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder have tried to pretend that the Supreme Court never ruled in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008) , which upheld photo ID requirements for voting. But they are destined to lose big when the Texas and S.C. challenges get to the Federal courts.
Left-wing groups, including Chicanos Por la Causa, League of Women Voters, ACLU and Arizona’s patron saint of illegal aliens, Sen. Steve Gallardo had all filed suit, among others. The plaintiffs in the case “did not prove that the ability of Hispanics to participate in the political process was lessened somehow because of the law”, the Ninth found.
Judge Johnnie Rawlinson dissented, finding that Arizona could reject federal voter registration forms in place of its own form. Judge Harry Pregerson also dissented, but for a different reason. He believes the polling-place ID provision discriminates against Hispanics. The plaintiffs may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.