The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued a decision Tuesday upholding an Arizona law that requires voters to provide identification at the polls, but struck the portion of the law that also required proof of citizenship in order to participate in federal elections, according to jurist.org.
The court determined that Arizona's Proposition 200 was at odds with the National Voter Registration Act ("NVRA") of 1993 because the latter federal act sought to increase voter participation and remove state imposed voting barriers.
The NVRA required voters to attest to their citizenship, but did not require them to give actual proof of citizenship. Accordingly, Judge Sandra Ikuta, who delivered the court's en banc opinion, determined that Proposition 200 went beyond the requirements imposed by the federal statute.
The court also held that Proposition 200's voter id requirement did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because it was rationally related to the Arizona's legitimate interest in assessing the eligibility and qualifications of prospective voters.
The 9th Circuit's decision comes after an identical decision issued by a 3-judge panel back in October of 2010. Afterwards, the court agreed to hear the case en banc.
Today 32 US states require some sort government ID to be presented at the polls. Yet, the voter id requirement remains a contentious issue amongst the state's because of the discriminatory impact it may potentially present upon on certain classes of voters.
For example, Last week the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a brief in the US District Court for the District of Columbia because it felt that a recently passed Texas photo ID mandate will have a disproportionate on Latino voters and thus violates the Equal Protection Clause by effectively denying many Latinos the right to vote, according to Jurist.
With a split of opinion nationally, the 9th Circuit's opinion could set the stage for another Supreme Court showdown over an Arizona law touching on citizenship issues.
What do you think?
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