The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision Thursday that two Arizona voting provisions do not violate Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act.
And the majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, may have driven the final nail in the coffin of an already sketchy lawsuit filed last week by Attorney General Merrick Garland, which challenged Georgia’s new voting law.
At issue was an Arizona statute that restricts ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting. The majority found nothing in either provision that was inconsistent with the Voting Rights Act, the purpose of which is to eliminate racial bias at the polls.
After the court published its opinion NBC News reported, “BREAKING: US Supreme Court upholds restrictive Arizona voting laws in test of Voting Rights Act.”
However, as Alito observed, “every voting rule imposes a burden of some sort” on the voters. “Mere inconvenience,” he added, “cannot be enough to demonstrate a violation of” the Act.
President Joe Biden, without surprise, blasted the court’s decision.
“I am deeply disappointed in today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court that undercuts the Voting Rights Act, and upholds what Justice [Elena] Kagan called “a significant race-based disparity in voting opportunities,'” he said.
“In a span of just eight years, the Court has now done severe damage to two of the most important provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — a law that took years of struggle and strife to secure,” Biden added.
Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, believed Biden was being less than truthful given admissions made by Justice Department lawyers.
“This is cynical political theater from Joe Biden — his administration’s own lawyers confirmed to the Supreme Court that Arizona’s laws did not violate the Voting Rights Act and Arizona should win this case,” she said.
Severino included a portion of the opinion conforming that:
In a brief filed in December in support of petitioners, the Department of Justice proposed one such test but later disavowed the analysis in that brief. The Department informed us, however, that it did not disagree with its prior conclusion that the two provisions of Arizona law at issue in these cases do not violate §2 of the Voting Rights Act.
Severino also observed that the court’s decision included something akin to a general test that courts can follow to determine whether other state laws violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
“Importantly, Justice Alito’s opinion outlined guideposts that seem to make future challenges to election integrity laws much more difficult to win,” she said. “Among them, how a rule compares to ‘The burdens associated with the rules in widespread use when §2 was adopted [in 1982].’”
This would appear to make the lawsuit the Department of Justice filed against the state of Georgia dead on arrival.
It challenges Georgia’s new voting law, the results of which include:
- Early voting expands in most Georgia counties.
- ID is now required not just for in-person voting, but also for mail-in voting.
- Absentee voting: New rules regulate drop boxes and shorten time frame for requesting and returning mail ballots.
- Food and drink distribution to voters in line by non-poll workers is banned, but "self-service" water stands are allowed.
- Changes to in-person voting are being implemented to address long lines and reduce provisional voting.
- State election board will have new powers and won't be chaired by the secretary of state.
- Results are to be reported faster.
- Voters may call a new hotline with complaints alleging voter intimidation or illegal activity.
- Runoff election period will be five weeks shorter.
Many of these actually expand voter accessibility to the polls. Others are either neutral or amount to “mere inconvenience[s],” which are permitted, according to Justice Alito.
More than that, those “mere inconvenience[s]” are color-blind — they apply equally to everyone, no matter what their race, color, or creed.
What Biden, Garland, and the entire Democratic Party have to understand is that there’s no such thing as Black rights, Hispanic rights, Native American rights, women’s rights, gay rights, or any other alleged demographic’s rights.
There are just human rights and American rights. Anything other than that divides us.
The motto of the United states is “E Pluribus Unum,” meaning “from many, one.” The left would rather turn that around to read, “from one, many.”
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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