So what really happened with the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate an Arizona requirement that people submitting a federal voter registration provide proof of citizenship? The media reports would have you believe that it stripped states of the power to require proof of citizenship. Some voter integrity groups said it means that illegal aliens could register, and vote, in federal elections. J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department election lawyer, says that’s not the case at all.
The Left essentially believes that anyone who fills out a federal Election Assistance Commission registration form should be allowed on the rolls, no questions asked. There were complex fights over the “citizen check-off box” issues, with the Left wanting the box rendered meaningless, and conservatives and election-integrity proponents believing a registration cannot be processed until a registrant affirms on the box that he or she is a citizen.
Before the decision today, here is what the Left wanted:
- Invalidation of Arizona’s requirement that those submitting a federal form provide proof of citizenship with their federal form. Mind you, the citizenship-proof requirement is NOT part of federal law and the Election Assistance Commission does NOT require it in the form they drafted.
- Invalidation of state citizenship-verification requirements when a state voter registration form is used (yes, such forms exist separate from the federal requirement) on the basis of federal preemption. They wanted the Arizona case to invalidate all state citizenship-verification requirements.
- Automatic registration if a registrant submits a completed federal EAC approved registration form, no questions asked.
- Federal preemption on the ability for states to have customized federal EAC-approved forms that differed from the default EAC form.
- Federal preemption over states, like Florida and Kansas, looking for independent information on citizenship to root out noncitizens from the voter rolls. Again, the Left wanted the federal EAC form to be the no-questions-asked ticket to the voter rolls.
So what is the score on these five goals after Justice Scalia’s opinion today? Election-integrity advocates are batting .800; left wing groups, .200. And the most insignificant issue of the five is the one issue the Left won. Justice Scalia foiled 4 of 5 of their goals, and the 4 biggest ones.
How does it work? The decision today uncorks state power. The Left wanted state power stripped and they lost.
First, Arizona can simply push the state forms in all state offices and online, and keep those federal forms in the back room gathering dust. When you submit a state form, you have to prove citizenship. Thanks to Justice Scalia, that option is perfectly acceptable. Loss for the Left. Victory for election integrity.
Read the rest: Left Loses Big in Citizenship-Verification Supreme Court Case.