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

And The Happiest States In The U.S. Are…

And The Happiest States In The U.S. Are...If you’re sick of cheerful, happy people, it might be wise to avoid Hawaii or Napa, California. They were found to be the United States’ happiest state and city, respectively, in a recent study of geotagged tweets.

‘Fondness for profanity’

Researchers at the University of Vermont sifted through more than 10 million geotagged tweets from 2011 to map out the moods of Americans in urban areas. They ranked the locations based on frequency of positive and negative words using the Mechanical Turk Language Assessment word list.

Maine, Nevada, Utah and Vermont round-out the top five happiest states list, following rainbow and beach-filled Hawaii. Louisiana was found to be the saddest state, followed by Mississippi, Maryland, Michigan and Delaware. One reason for Louisiana’s low cheeriness ranking (they must not have measured during Mardi Gras) is its inhabitants’ fondness for profanity.

‘Coastal areas were more chipper’

The study, which was broken down by The Atlantic, also looked at the results for 373 urban areas to rank the happiest and least-happy cities. Vacation destination Napa, California, was determined to be one of the happiest cities along with Longmont, Colorado; San Clemente, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Santa Cruz, California.

The five most bummed-out cities according to average word choices were Beaumont, Texas; Albany, Georgia; Texas City, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Monroe, Louisiana. Again, researchers found liberal use of swear words to be a key factor in a city’s overall happiness score. Coastal areas were more chipper than landlocked areas, and the cities with a higher density of tweets tended to be less happy.

The research shows that social networks have a lot of promise for these types of surveys, and also that there are still some major limitations. Researchers point out that only 15% of online adults are using Twitter, and those users don’t accurately represent the demographics of the United States.

Do you agree with the results of this study? Tell us what makes you happy and what makes you sad.

Source: Heather Kelly, CNN

Image: The Telegraph