Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Requiring Citizenship Proof For Voters

Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Requiring Citizenship Proof For VotersThe Supreme Court ruled Monday that states cannot on their own require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make signing up easier.

‘Motor Voter’

The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona’s voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “Motor Voter” voter registration law. Federal law “precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself,” Justice Antonia Scalia wrote for the court’s majority.

The court was considering the legality of Arizona’s requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “motor voter” registration law. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which doesn’t require such documentation, trumps Arizona’s Proposition 200 passed in 2004.


‘Burdensome paperwork’

Arizona appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

“Today’s decision sends a strong message that states cannot block their citizens from registering to vote by superimposing burdensome paperwork requirements on top of federal law,” said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and lead counsel for the voters who challenged Proposition 200. “The Supreme Court has affirmed that all U.S. citizens have the right to register to vote using the national postcard, regardless of the state in which they live,” she said.

The case focuses on Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues involving the Mexican border. But it has broader implications because four other states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee — have similar requirements, and 12 other states are contemplating such legislation.

Are you in favor of this law requiring citizenship proof or not? Feel free to express your opinion regarding this issue!

Source: Associated Press, Fox News

Image: The Christian Science Monitor

Jodi Arias May Get Death Penalty For First-Degree Murder

Jodi Arias May Get Death Penalty For First-Degree MurderAfter months of twists and turns in a dramatic trial rife with sex, lies and digital images, an Arizona jury Wednesday found Jodi Arias guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. Jurors will return to court Thursday for the aggravation phase of the trial — an important step in the next key decision they face: determining whether Arias lives or dies.

‘I’d rather get death’

In a television interview minutes after the verdict was announced, Arias said she’d prefer a death sentence.

“I said years ago that I’d rather get death than life, and that still is true today,” she told Phoenix television station KSAZ. “I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I’d rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it.”

The comments prompted authorities to place Arias on suicide watch in an Arizona jail, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Arias was stoic in court Wednesday. Her eyes briefly welled up with tears as a clerk announced that the jury found her guilty of first-degree murder for killing Alexander in June 2008.


‘Grisly slaying’

If the jury decides on a death sentence, the judge is bound by that decision. But if the jury decides against the death penalty, the judge would have two options: sentencing Arias to life in prison without the possibility of parole, or sentencing her to life in prison with the possibility of parole after at least 25 years.

Alexander was stabbed repeatedly, shot and nearly decapitated five years ago. Arias says she killed him in self-defense after he attacked her, but the grisly slaying caused even some anti-domestic violence advocates to doubt her case.

Do you think Jodi Arias killed her boyfriend in self-defense? Which sentence will most probably be given by the jury — life in prison or death sentence?

Source: Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

Image: NY Daily News