Supreme Court Strikes Down Arizona Voter ID Requirement

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 17 2013 10:21 AM

SCOTUS Strikes Down Arizona's ID Requirement for Voter Registration

170745606
A police officer walks his dog in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on June 17, 2013, in Washington D.C.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The high court is taking its sweet time getting to the era-defining voting rights, affirmative action, and gay marriage cases. If this term were The Return of the King, today would have been the scene in which the hobbits jumped on a bed—a non-ending. But the court did strike down one of the laws passed during Arizona's conservative blitz, one that required ID from voters signing registration forms. This, according to the court, was superseded by the "motor voter" law. And so from the pen of Antonin Scalia, yet another one of those hard-right Jan Brewer-approved laws goes down. From the ruling:

States retain the flexibility to design and use their own registration forms, but the Federal Form provides a backstop: No matter what procedural hurdles a State’s own form imposes, the Federal Form guarantees that a simple means of registering to vote in federal elections will be available. Arizona’s reading would permit a State to demand of Federal Form applicants every additional piece of information the State requires on its state-specific form. If that is so, the Federal Form ceases to perform any meaningful function, and would be a feeble means of “increas[ing] the number of eligible citizens who register to vote in elections for Federal office.”

Hard to read anything from that and apply it to the VRA case. This decision doesn't veer anywhere near questions of discrimination or historical context. There's a law. The states tried to overwhelm it. States can't do that. End of decision, end of court drama 'til Thursday.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 8:32 AM Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy—and a Mess. Can the Movies Fix It?
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 20 2014 7:00 AM Gallery: The Red Planet and the Comet
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.