Tenn. AG Slams Bill to Keep Noncitizens Out of Polling Places

Monday, 01 Apr 2013 01:58 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A proposed Tennessee law that would ban people who are not U.S. citizens from polling places may violate the Constitution, according to State Attorney General Bob Cooper.

“The provisions of this bill appear, on their face, to be constitutionally suspect’’ by violating the Equal Protection Clause, Cooper said, according to The Knoxville News Sentinel.

“The 14th Amendment [says no state shall] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Those residents who are not citizens are covered by the phrase, according to Cooper.

The Sentinel reports that to withstand a court challenge, the law, which has already passed the state Senate, would have to prove it serves “a compelling state interest by the least restrictive means practically available.”

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