Court: Arizona Citizenship Proof Law Illegal

By: AP
By: AP
The Supreme Court says states cannot require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make signing up easier.

This Aug. 5, 2008, file photo, shows the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building Phoenix. The U.S. Supreme Court will struggle this week with the validity of an Arizona law that tries to keep illegal immigrants from voting by demanding all state residents show documents proving their U.S. citizenship before registering to vote in national elections.

WASHINGTON (AP) The Supreme Court says states cannot require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make signing up easier.

The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona's voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal "Motor Voter" voter registration law.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which doesn't require such documentation, trumps Arizona's Proposition 200 passed in 2004. Arizona officials say their law is needed to stop non-Americans from voting in elections, while opponents see it as an attack on minorities, immigrants and the elderly.

But the high court agreed with the federal government in the case.


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