July 6, 2022

The DOJ is suing the state of Arizona for their latest "papers please" bill requiring voters to supply proof of citizenship to vote.

From The Washington Post:

The bill requires voters to provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers, on a federal voter registration form. Democrats have said the measure could disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters.

Justice officials said the law flouts a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that struck down a similar attempt from Arizona to enact a proof-of-citizenship requirement. At that time, a majority of the court said the move violated federal statutes that do not require such documentation.

The key phrase there is “At that time.” In 2013, we did not have the Trump wingnuts on the court. The 2013 opinion was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, with only Justices Mr. Ginni Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissenting.

By coincidence, MAGA world has been furiously trying to win back Arizona after Joe Biden carried the state in 2020 and Mark Kelly became the second U.S. Senator from the state.

The Brennan Center for Justice calls Arizona the “epicenter of the fight for voting rights today,” saying it has “[o]ne of the worst voter suppression laws in the nation, fueled by conspiracy theories.” The Brennan Center says about the citizenship requirement:

In a brazen repudiation of federal law and recent Supreme Court precedent, Arizona recently enacted a law requiring documentary proof of citizenship to vote by mail or in presidential elections. In 2021, Arizona was one of the 17 states nationwide to enact new restrictive voting laws. Now it’s trying to break away from the rest of the voter suppression pack.

Even if the DOJ loses this case, the ruling could highlight again everything that’s wrong with this court and the need for change.

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