Editorial: Supreme Court makes right call on Arizona vote law

The Washington Post says the U.S. Supreme Court made the right call in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, a voting rights case:
The court looked to the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, also known as the motor voter law, which was supposed to streamline voter registration across the country. Among other things, it empowered a commission to develop a common registration form that all states have to “accept and use” to populate federal election rolls. The resulting form requires a signed affirmation of citizenship but no supporting documents. Under its 2004 law, though, Arizona rejected completed federal forms without documentation.

The motor voter law’s “accept and use” mandate quite obviously conflicted with Arizona’s requirements. To find differently would require ignoring the law’s straightforward intent: to simplify registration. As Justice Antonin Scalia argued for the majority in a 7 to 2 court decision, if each state could reject federal forms that lack all sorts of extraneous information, why would Congress have bothered to order up a common form?

Since the Constitution gives Congress wide latitude to determine the “time, place and manner” of federal elections, motor voter preempted Arizona’s law.

Get the Story:
Editorial: The Supreme Court finds in favor of more access to the polls (The Washington Post 6/18)

Another Opinion:
Editorial: The Court: Congress Regulates Federal Elections (The New York Times 6/18)

Also Today:
Arizona citizenship proof law: Supreme Court issues split ruling (The Arizona Republic 6/18)
Supreme Court says states may not add citizenship proof for voter registration (The Washington Post 6/18)
Justices Block Law Requiring Voters to Prove Citizenship (The New York Times 6/18)

Supreme Court Decision:
Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (June 17, 2013)

Supreme Court Oral Argument Transcript:
Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona v. Arizona (March 18, 2013)

9th Circuit Decision:
Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona v. Arizona (April 17, 2012)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court sides with tribes in Arizona voting rights case (6/17)
Supreme Court takes up tribal challenge to Arizona voter law (3/19)
Supreme Court set to hear tribal challenge to Arizona voter law (3/12)
Editorial: Voting Rights Act necessary to prevent discrimination (3/12)
Supreme Court to review Arizona voter law that tribes oppose (10/16)

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