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Ninth Circuit Upholds Arizona Voter ID Law

By Robyn Hagan Cain on April 19, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

As Arizona prepares to argue its state immigration law, S.B. 1070, to the Supreme Court next week, state officials must be wondering if they'll be asked to return to the Supreme Court next year to defend another law targeting illegal immigrants: Proposition 200.

Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Arizona voter identification requirement, and struck down a proof of citizenship voter registration requirement, reports Reuters.

Arizona voters passed Proposition 200 in 2004. The law requires prospective voters in Arizona to provide proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, and requires voters to provide identification to cast a ballot at the polls. Prop 200 opponents challenged the law, alleging that it violated the Voting Rights Act, the 14th or 24th Amendments to the Constitution, or was void under the National Voter Registration Act.

Plaintiffs claimed that Proposition 200 disparately impacts Latino voters, unlawfully diluting their right to vote and denying them the right to vote by providing them with less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process. After considering both the registration requirement and poll place identification requirement, the district court determined that Proposition 200 does not have a statistically significant disparate impact on Latino voters.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the voter ID law, but overturned the proof of citizenship requirement. The court found that the National Voter Registration Act requirements superseded the voter registration terms.

While Arizona is pleased with the outcome of the voter ID law issue, the battle over the proof of citizenship requirement is not over. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne expects the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately resolve the proof of citizenship question. "The people of Arizona have a right to request that people registering to vote show some evidence they are citizens and we fully expect the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold that," Horne told Fox News.

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