The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld two Republican-supported Arizona voting laws they say are intended to ensure election integrity.
The decision, delivered by a 6-3 court split on partisan lines, found that neither law violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and that they were not enacted with racially discriminatory intent. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the court’s majority opinion. Justice Elena Kagan led the liberals in dissent. The laws require two things. The first is that a ballot be thrown out if it was cast in a precinct other than the one matching the voter’s home address. The second is a ban on “ballot-harvesting,” a practice in which third-party carriers collect absentee ballots and deliver them for counting.
Alito wrote in his opinion that because the laws gave voters an “equal opportunity” to vote, they were not discriminatory. Alito warned that Kagan and anyone opposing the laws were advancing a “radical” project, in which the only thing that a state takes into account when making voting laws is “the size of any disparity in a rule’s impact on members of protected groups.”
And while that is an interest, Alito wrote, it is impossible to make laws that will not have some effect on how many people of any particular group vote. “Differences in employment, wealth, and education may make it virtually impossible for a State to devise rules that do not have some disparate impact,” Alito wrote.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: COLORADO NEWSLINE
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