Ian Patrick, FISM News
In a 6-3 ruling the Supreme Court of the United States backed a Republican appeal on voter security laws in Arizona. The Supreme Court upheld a law which prevented “ballot harvesting” for anyone who is not a family member or caretaker as well as a law which discarded an in-person ballot presented at the wrong precinct.
These laws, according to the majority opinion authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, did not violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The original lawsuit from the Democratic National Committee and Arizona Democratic Party claimed it had violated this act, an allegation supported in a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Arizona Republican Party, in conjunction with state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, appealed this decision to the Supreme Court.
Republicans see this as a victory in the recent attempt to ensure election security, especially after new voting clarifications and legislations in Georgia and Texas have received so much backlash. Democrats were less than pleased with the Court’s decision. President Biden said it “undercuts voting rights in this country” and called for the passing of the extremely controversial For the People Act (otherwise known as H.R.1).
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court undercuts voting rights in this country — and makes it all the more crucial to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore and expand voting protections.
Our democracy depends on it.
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 1, 2021
Liberal Justice Elena Kagan also issued a dissent in which she called the decision “tragic” and lamenting the Court’s decision “at a perilous moment” for equality.
So the court decides this Voting Rights Act case at a perilous moment for the nation’s commitment to equal citizenship. It decides this case in an era of voting-rights retrenchment – when too many states and localities are restricting access to voting in ways that will predictably deprive members of minority groups of equal access to the ballot box
Democrats have been increasingly accusing legislation like these Arizona laws as disproportionately affecting non-white voters. Republicans maintain that such legislation is enacted to eliminate voter fraud wherever possible.