US voter rights at Supreme Court again

2013-03-19 10:58
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Voter rights were back on the agenda on Monday at the Supreme Court as the nation's top court took up a controversial law that requires stringent proof of citizenship for voter registration.

At issue is an Arizona law that aims to block illegal immigrants from casting ballots by demanding proof well beyond what is required under federal law of those seeking to inscribe their names on voter lists.

The latest legal bout comes just weeks after the Supreme Court heard arguments over - and appeared poised to overturn, at least in part - the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires nine mainly southern states and local governments in seven other states to obtain Justice Department approval for any changes in their electoral codes.

Arizona, in the US southwest on the border with Mexico, has butted heads with Washington several times over its immigration initiatives. But four other states, including Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee - have enacted similar laws, and 12 more states are working on doing the same.

The nine Supreme Court judges seemed split on the issue, with some saying the signed affidavit on the form was sufficient, while others suggesting the extra proof from official documents was preferable.

Ultra-conservative judge Antonin Scalia was among the latter group, saying that "a statement under oath is not a proof at all".

Dangerous precedent

The conservative justice Samuel Alito also chimed in to disparage what he called a "crazy system".

But the federal government, in a brief filed in favour of striking down the Arizona law, argued that it sets a dangerous precedent.

If Arizona is allowed to require documents proving citizenship beyond what is required at a national level, "each state could impose all manner of its own supplemental requirements beyond the federal form", the government said.

Analyst Doug Kendall, president of the Constitutional Accountability Centre, said a majority of the Court "appeared to recognise that the entire point of having a single Federal form was to streamline the voter registration process.

"Approving Arizona's law would pave the way for a patchwork of 50 state forms," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    us
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to be too fixed on a set way of doing things today. You may get challenged and the best approach is to keep an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.