Don’t worry, they are not from me.
First from William Jacobson, Clinical Professor of Law at Cornell and proprietor of the fine blog, Legal Insurrection:
7-2 decision practically invites Arizona to try again using proper administrative procedures
Most of what you have heard in the media about the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona is incomplete to the point of misleading.
It is true that the Court held that Arizona’s Proposition 200 (passed in 2004) requiring documentary proof of citizenship was invalid as contrary to the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requirement that states “accept and use” the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) voter registration form which merely requires that a registrant affirm citizenship.
But, this ruling essentially was procedural.
The Court held if Arizona wanted to require additional documentary proof of citizenship it needed to follow the administrative procedures under the NVRA to obtain approval to alter the instructions to the federal form. In fact, in 2005 Arizona had requested such approval, the EAC split 2-2, but Arizona failed to appeal. The Court held that nothing prevented Arizona from requesting approval again, and appealing if denied. The Court practically invited Arizona to try again.
Now from J. Christian Adams:
Something perverse happened after the Supreme Court’s decision today invalidating citizenship-verification requirements in Arizona for registrants who use the federal voter registration form. The Left knows they lost most of the battle, but are still claiming victory. That’s what they do. Election-integrity proponents and the states are saying they lost, but don’t realize they really won…
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…
The decision today is a great example of how conservatives can be distracted by squirrels running past. It is understandable and forgivable because they aren’t daily immersed in the long-term election-process agenda of the left-wing groups. Nor do they daily involve themselves with the details of election process. But having been in the “preemption wars” for nearly a decade, I can assure you this case is a big win, even if it doesn’t appear so at first glance.