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Rule of Law

Left Loses Big in Citizenship-Verification Supreme Court Case

June 17th, 2013 - 5:35 pm

How does it work? The decision today uncorks state power. The Left wanted state power stripped and they lost.

First, Arizona can simply push the state forms in all state offices and online, and keep those federal forms in the back room gathering dust. When you submit a state form, you have to prove citizenship. Thanks to Justice Scalia, that option is perfectly acceptable. Loss for the Left. Victory for election integrity.

You might say, “That’s a small victory.” Nonsense. This was the whole ballgame to the groups pushing the Arizona lawsuit. They lost, period.

Next, when voters use a state, as opposed to a federal, form, they can still be required to prove citizenship. The federal form is irrelevant in that circumstance.

After the decision today, states have a green light to do double- and triple-checking even if a registrant uses the federal form. The Left wanted the submission of a federal form to mean automatic no-questions-asked registration. This is a big loss for the Left because now states can put suspect forms in limbo while they run checks against non-citizen databases and jury-response forms. Another significant victory in today’s decision. The Left wanted to strip them of that double-checking power.

The decision today is a great example of how conservatives can be distracted by squirrels running past. It is understandable and forgivable because they aren’t daily immersed in the long-term election-process agenda of the left-wing groups. Nor do they daily involve themselves with the details of election process. But having been in the “preemption wars” for nearly a decade, I can assure you this case is a big win, even if it doesn’t appear so at first glance.

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Top Rated Comments   
The States should just bifurcate their roles:
Use a Federal Form (Motor Voter), you cannot vote on state/local candidates/issues;
Use a State Form, you can vote for everything.
Perhaps that will keep the Feds from encroaching upon State prerogatives.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're wrong that this is the "only point that matters." The only point that matters in relation to the federal form are the procedures that scalia greenlighted today even if someone submits the federal form. You simply must understand the history of this fight to understand how significant this is. In the past, the left has argued that once the federal form is completed and submitted, there is nothing a election official can do. As a result, election officials all over the nation have been beaten into submission by the lefty groups regarding the federal forms. They do no checking whatsoever because the left has argued such checks would be preempted by federal law. Scalia today rejected that squarely and greenlighted extra checks. This means that Secretary of State Kobach in Kansas, for example, can continue to use federal noncitizen databases to check those federal form applicants. That means other double checks, like jury excusals can be used to block an improper federal form applicant. This is devastating to the ACORN style voter drives because the federal form was (before the opinion) seen as a no questions asked way to fill up the rolls with registrants, sometimes invalid ones. There are other great things in the opinion which I didn't even address in the article because the EAC is a zombie agency right now. But conservatives up in arms about this opinion are displaying an unfortunate lack of understanding of the wider field of battle and focused on the enemy breakthrough in the Arizona sector.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I join my voice to all the others who have thanked you for this needed clarification. THANKS!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (59)
All Comments   (59)
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"THE CONSTITUTION GIVES THE STATES AUTHORITY OVER ELECTIONS "

Yeah, except for the Elections Clause, which was the issue in this case.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A well written column and argued like a lawyer but at the end of the day the reasoning is faulty because you avoid the unconstitutional nature of the decision.

The laundry list of items the left wanted notwithstanding, there is a NO WAY they were going to get FULL federal preemption (this is a legal term of art that basically means the States have NO authority in the area). THE CONSTITUTION GIVES THE STATES AUTHORITY OVER ELECTIONS and the notion that the Feds can dictate the terms of STATE elections is specious.

So to bring down the flawed reasoning to real life- imagine if Zimmerman in defending himself from a violent assault was charged with:

-use of nuclear weapons
-use of a weapon of mass destruction
-genocide
-murder

This author would say a murder conviction in the Zimmerman case was a "victory."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"THE CONSTITUTION GIVES THE STATES AUTHORITY OVER ELECTIONS and the notion that the Feds can dictate the terms of STATE elections is specious."

This decision does not grant federal power over state office elections*, and the constitution gives the federal government the right to enforce the qualifications to federal office (if it will), and the fact the House and Senate can decide whom to seat implies they can penalize states whose election laws are abhorrent to a federal legislative house by not seating people elected under such laws.

*If he will, Mr. Adams can say if I have misunderstood the decision.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr. Adams I have minimally quoted you here.

http://talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?p=102123#p102123
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow, thank you Christian Adams. Better to loose a battle, than the war. You are oh so correct, a lot of Conservatives don't realize what was actually involved in this battle. I for one.
I feel somewhat better now. Thanks for the education.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The ruling is specific to federal elections,and can never be applied to state and local elections. (States rights issue)

To finesse the ruling -- the state should require citizenship proof for state and local elections.

Since these are normally conducted at the same time you'll need to have extra ballots -- one with federal-only races on it. Voters without the required proof get to vote ONLY the federal ballot.

Sure, that’s cumbersome, but not worse than having to handle multiple ballots during primaries.

The benefit is that you get to find out EXACTLY how many people don't have citizenship proof, since most people would be embarrassed to be handed the federal-only ballot and would try very hard not to be highlighted.

I believe that discovering how big the problem really is, is worth the extra effort by the elections staff, and keeping people's data up to date is a routine (and computerized) process for them, anyway.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If I understand this properly, the issue struck down had to do with the registration process. I didn't see anything saying that they couldn't require a valid ID for VOTING.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I still doubt your sunny interpretation.

Can't ACORN still submit zillions of federal forms and they must be accepted?

Can Arizona require ID to actually vote? Especially given that most of these will probably be voted "absentee" where ACORN workers can "help" fill them out properly.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Late to the game fellow. AZ already requires ID.

And you need to read the article carefully. They can submit the zillions of forms. In the past, election officials accepted them without checking behind the curtain. Scalia yesterday changed all that. States can now do aggressive checking and don't just have to accept the accuracy of the information.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, of the five bullet points, the left got the first and lost the other four?
After the decision today, states have a green light to do double- and triple-checking even if a registrant uses the federal form.
And this is somehow differentiated from asking for a double-check on the spot in the form of ID?

I don't really expect even supreme court decisions to make a *lot* of sense, but that's hard to swallow.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And, can the federal registration allow voters to vote on state issues? Be nice if this could be differentiated, but I have trouble seeing how it would be done.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you for the excellent context on this decision. I hope it bears fruit with states willing to straighten out voter roles and return some integrity to the process.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
OT
I posted my comment 3 minutes ago.
page shows 57 minutes ago.
I have no idea who to notify on that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
routine. i've had mine be off 3 hours.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I had not had time to read it so I wondered if the hype was accurate.
thank you for this.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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