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

Egypt Sends Back U.S. Request to Lift Travel Ban

Egypt’s justice minister said on Tuesday he had sent back a letter from the U.S. ambassador that asked for an end to a travel ban on Americans being investigated for alleged illegal funding of pro-democracy groups.

In Cairo, Justice Minister Adel Abdelhamid Abdallah said he returned the U.S. embassy letter, highlighting strains between Washington and its long-standing Arab ally since the overthrow last year of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising.

Washington said several U.S. citizens working for civil society groups were banned from leaving Egypt and took refuge at its embassy in Cairo after the non-governmental organizations were raided by the military-led Egyptian authorities.


Abdallah said U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson’s written request to lift the travel ban was sent to his home and he returned it to the U.S. embassy because it should have been sent to the investigating judges. State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a news briefing that Washington would continue to press Egypt to allow the NGO staffers to leave.

Egypt’s government says the number of NGOs violating the law on funding political activities had grown since the uprising against Mubarak. Among those prevented from leaving Egypt was the IRI’s Egypt country director Sam LaHood, who is the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

 

Source: Reuters

Image: Al Jazeera