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Supreme Court Hands GOP Huge WIn In Arizona Voting Case, Upholds Arizona Voting Rules Dems Objected To

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The Supreme Court just gave the GOP a huge win and the Dems a bitter loss in a landmark voting case from Arizona. The court ruled that two provisions of Arizona voting law that restrict how ballots can be cast do not violate the historic Voting Rights Act.

The vote in the case is 6-3 breaking along conservative-liberal lines. Justice Samuel Alito delivered the majority opinion. The lawsuit was brought by the Democratic National Committee and backed by Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D). This decision also makes it nearly impossible for the Dems to win any of the lawsuits they have filed against other states’ new voting rules.

The first provision says in-person ballots cast at the wrong precinct on Election Day must be discarded. The second provision deals with what is known as “ballot collection,” and says only family caregivers, mail carriers or election officials can deliver another person’s completed ballot to a polling place.

From CNBC:

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 6-3 to uphold Arizona voting rules supported by Republicans that Democrats alleged unlawfully discriminated against the state’s Native American, Hispanic and Black voters.

The case concerned two Arizona voting rules that a federal appeals court found to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act, citing their disproportionate impact on minorities.

One of the measures, known as the “out-of-precinct policy,” disqualifies ballots cast in the wrong precinct on Election Day. The other measure, known as the “ballot-collection law,” forbids most people except for family members to collect and deliver ballots to the polls. Republicans often refer to third-party ballot collection as ballot harvesting.

The Democratic National Committee challenged the two measures under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires elections to be equally open to people of all races. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the DNC.

From The Hill:

Thursday’s ruling comes eight years after the Shelby County v. Holder decision, which dealt with another provision of the Voting Rights Act. There, the court eliminated the government’s preclearance authority under Section 5 of the law, which had allowed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to screen proposed changes to voting procedures in states with a history of racial discrimination in elections.

In striking down the preclearance requirement in 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for a 5-4 majority, said the Voting Rights Act could continue to guard against racially discriminatory voting laws after-the-fact through Section 2 of the law, the provision at issue in Thursday’s case.

The challenge to Arizona’s voting restrictions marked the first time the Supreme Court addressed a vote-denial lawsuit brought under Section 2, which bars discrimination on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group. Proving a violation requires showing either that lawmakers intended discrimination, or that a voting restriction has a discriminatory impact.