Federal Court Nixes Ariz. Effort to Protect Integrity of Elections

Monday, 01 Nov 2010 11:10 AM

By James Walsh

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The United States through acts of Congress and the complicity of some federal judges has now –– at least until the U.S. Supreme Court rules –– sanctioned the “right” of non-citizens to vote in U.S. elections. The Democratic Party actively concurs.

On Oct. 26, 2010, the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in its Gonzalez v. State of Arizona decision declared that Proposition 200, a state law passed as a voter initiative requiring voters in Arizona to document that they are U.S. citizens, is superseded by federal statute. The Court held that the Arizona law conflicted with the federal National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993.

Congress enacted NVRA, in response to claims that states were discriminating and harming voters of “various groups, including racial minorities.” Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, an Arizona native, joined Judge Sandra Ikuta to form the majority, while Chief Judge Alex Kozinski dissented. Ikuta was previously a law clerk to Kozinski and then to O’Connor.

NVRA includes the Motor-Voter Law (MVL), which allows applicants for drivers licenses to simultaneously register to vote. MVL requires that the voter registration form be part of the drivers license application and that voters can register to vote by mail. On the mail-in registration form, an applicant merely checks a box that he or she is a U.S. citizen. The form has a disclaimer providing a criminal penalty for providing false information, yet it requires no verification.

In the Gonzalez v. State of Arizona opinion, the two-judge majority found the Arizona law to be in conflict with the federal law, because “It is indisputable that by requiring documentary proof of citizenship, Proposition 200 (Arizona Law) creates an additional state hurdle to registration.” They concluded that NVRA supersedes Arizona’s voter registration requirement for federal elections.

In contrast, Kozinski wrote a cogent and withering dissent, in which he opined: “In this case, the text of the NVRA doesn’t ‘directly address the precise question at issue’. . . namely whether states can ask for supplemental proof of citizenship . . . Arizona gladly accepts and uses the federal form, it just asks that voters also provide some proof of citizenship.”

Pointing out the fallacy of the majority opinion, Kozinski held: “Congress thus told us that it was concerned with maximizing the registration of ‘eligible’ voters, in addition ‘to protect[ing] the integrity of the electoral process’ and ‘ensur[ing] that accurate and current voter registration rolls are maintained.’ None of these purposes is served when individuals who are not citizens register to vote.”

Proposition 200 was passed by the citizens of Arizona in 2004 because of the increasing number of illegal aliens in the state who were usurping the rights of U.S. citizens while remaining citizens of Mexico and other foreign countries. Many citizens believed that the state was coming to resemble part of Mexico with illegal aliens, drug smugglers, and gang-bangers running loose. The State of Arizona was losing control.

State officials, outraged at the Gonzalez v. State of Arizona opinion, say that Proposition 200 helped to assure that only those eligible voted in elections. Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett observed: “It is a slap in the face to Arizonans who are concerned about the integrity of U.S. elections.”

Other Arizonans complained that the Court’s argument stating that Proposition 200 discriminated against minorities is nothing but a red herring frequently used by liberal advocates to distract attention from the real issue––perjury.

An Arizona rancher asked, “What does perjury mean to an illegal alien here illegally, a law violator? It is a joke that the feds threatened non-citizens with criminal actions. Show me one case that the feds prosecuted anyone for perjury under the feds’ law.”

The Gonzalez v. State of Arizona opinion coincides with news of voter fraud incidents taking place during early voting in mid-term elections in Arizona (Yuma County), Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Then there is the state of Washington, which apparently competes with the city of Chicago for voter fraud expertise.

Among the organizations promoting the enfranchisement of illegal aliens is OneAmerica Votes, an offshoot of the radical-left OneAmerica group, which promotes Democrat candidates by using illegal aliens to get out the vote. The brazen attitude of Democrat operatives in Washington state exemplifies the contempt that they and partisans like them across the nation have for the laws of the United States.

Also active in getting illegal alien “voters” registered are foreign criminal gangs. Maryland provides an example, as it has become an East Coast haven for MS-13, an international illegal alien gang operating in the United States.

With lax policies on drivers license applications and a blasé attitude toward illegal aliens and law enforcement efforts involving them, Maryland has become a sanctuary state. Its cities and towns now permit voting in elections by non-citizens as a gesture of a liberal one-world, open-borders mentality.

Thomas A. Saenz, president of the liberal Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), praised the Gonzalez v. State of Arizona opinion. He noted that it is “a warning to anyone who seeks to deter or prevent voter participation that the Constitution will protect our democratic process.” Exactly what Saenz meant as a “warning” is open to interpretation.

Read in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s recent admonition to the Hispanic community to vote and “punish our enemies,” it hardly helps bring the country together to work for a better America. While MALDEF looks to the Constitution to legitimize voting by illegal aliens, the state of Arizona looks to the same Constitution and to a much needed U.S. Supreme Court opinion reserving the right to vote to U.S. citizens.

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