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

Washington And Colorado Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Washington And Colorado Legalize Recreational MarijuanaVoters in Washington state and Colorado appear to have voted “yes” on measures that would legalize the sale of pot to adults, without the need for a doctor’s prescription.

‘Medical marijuana’

And earlier Tuesday evening, voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly approved the measure to allow the use of medical marijuana. Oregon voters have to decide on a similar measure to those passed in Washington and Colorado, which would allow marijuana use for any individual over the age of 21, but it appears to have been defeated. Arkansas’s medical marijuana initiative also appears to have been defeated. Montana, which already has a medical marijuana law, is voting on whether or not to restrict patient access in the state.


‘Tension between local and federal laws’

So far, states that have approved medical marijuana have walked a fine line with federal laws that still prohibit the sale of marijuana under any circumstances. The full legalization of marijuana in these two states is expected to increase that tension between local and federal laws.

In total, six states are considering marijuana initiatives. NBC News reports that 17 states and the District of Columbia already have laws allowing for the medical use of marijuana, according to the National Council of Legislatures.

Are you in favor of the legalization of recreational marijuana use? Why or why not? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: USA Today