Today, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Arizona’s Proposition 200, the state’s restrictive new voter registration law, in a 7-2 decision in Arizona v. ITCA.
Background (skip if you already know it): Earlier this year, many of our friends filed amicus brief on behalf of 12 other Asian American organizations arguing that SCOTUS strike down Prop 200 for unfairly burdening naturalized citizens, who make up almost 40% of the state’s Asian American population. Congress thus retains the power to pre-empt inconsistent state laws with regards to federal elections, thereby striking down Arizona’s Prop 200 law by finding that it violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The NVRA established a national form for voter registration, with a clear provision that no additional requirements may be imposed by the states. The brief argued that Arizona’s Prop 200 imposed additional registration requirements on the national form, in a clear violation of the NVRA. The federal voter registration form is particularly beneficial to Asian Americans because it is translated into Asian languages. In states that do not translate their state voter registration forms, voters may use the federal form, which is translated into Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. Prop 200 also violated the purpose of the NVRA by imposing unequal burdens on foreign-born, naturalized U.S. citizens who are registering to vote. These additional requirements disproportionately affected Asian Americans in Arizona, because a high percentage of them (~40%) are naturalized citizens, compared to only about 5% of white non-Latino citizens. The decision casts doubt on the efforts of other states, namely Alabama, Kansas, Tennessee, Georgia and 7 other similarly backward states that may disenfranchise voters with citizenship laws.
Now my bit: that all eligible citizens, either naturalized or native-born, have full and equal access to the electoral process, is a theme we repeatedly see conservatives disavow. Their usual protectionist, misplaced patriotism, using religion or policy as excuses for hating foreigners & general inepitude about talking to or about due process is again on display. They might claim their usual claims which calls for a table. It’s been a while since I’ve done one (last time was years ago):
|what they say||what they mean|
|Engish is the national language, required||no it’s not, stop revising history as you do naturally|
|foreigners must fit in||same thing as using religion to justify your personal flaws (i.e. hating gays)|
|only Americans should vote||sure, but you mean, Americans you agree with only? that’s why you’re not allowed to regulate the right to vote|
|protect America from non-Americans||usual political phrasing you were fed from watching Fox only|
|why have government spend money translating?||why have the government pay for the highways you so badly need?|
|why stop at just a few Asian languages?||would you support any language?|
|we should know who’s voting||sure, just don’t have it be an unreasonable requirement to protect your own kind|
|we will appeal||admit it, you just hate foreigners and want to protect other billy bob’s like yourself|
|we seek to uphold the law||you uphold only the law you want, just like you pick-and-choose the parts of religion you prefer and ignore, say, Jesus’ whole charity bit|
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