U.S. Supreme Court upholds Arizona voting restrictions

| July 1, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 9-3 decision, in support of an Arizona election law. The 9th Circuit argued that the Arizona law negatively impacted minority voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act. However, the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed with them.

From the Associated Press:

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for a conservative majority that the state’s interest in the integrity of elections justified the measures.

The court rejected the idea that showing that a state law disproportionately affects minority voters is enough to prove a violation of the law.

In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the court was weakening the landmark voting rights law for the second time in eight years.

“What is tragic here is that the Court has (yet again) rewritten — in order to weaken — a statute that stands as a monument to America’s greatness, and protects against its basest impulses. What is tragic is that the Court has damaged a statute designed to bring about ‘the end of discrimination in voting.’ I respectfully dissent,” Kagan wrote, joined by the other two liberal justices.

Native Americans who have to travel long distances to put their ballots in the mail were more likely to be affected by the ballot collection law. Votes cast by Black and Hispanic voters were more likely to be tossed out because they were cast in the wrong precinct, the appeals court found.

But Alito said the measures were at most “modest burdens” that did not violate the law.

The challenged Arizona provisions remained in effect in 2020 because the case was still making its way through the courts.

The Associated Press has the article here. You could also read the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision at this link.

Category: SCOTUS

Comments (28)

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  1. STSC(SW/SS) says:

    Most folks find a way to get to the polls and many are living in backwater areas. They some how manage to cast their ballots at the proper place and proper time but as usual Kagan uses race and color to overturn the law.

  2. How about the “minority” turnout for obama. Overwelming using id cards. so the demorats are telling us now that minorities don’t have id cards. hmmm

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    Gee, I have to sign in before voting, but that’s it. Then I go vote, shove my ballot into the counter, and pick up my lollipop and leave.

    Hard to get there? There’s a bus on that route.

    There’s always an excuse spouted by those who have to cheat to win.

  4. ChipNASA says:

    I’m going to go to vote next time, showing up in blackface and then if I’m questioned, I’m going to say I don’t need an ID and I identify as black and if you turn me away, you’re racist.
    Anyone want to take bets and see who that goes??

  5. Docduracoat says:

    Florida requires government issued photo I d in order to vote.
    I do enjoy that they accept my concealed carry permit allowing me to vote.

    • KoB says:

      Same here Doc. And if you don’t have an grubermint issued ID, they will make you one…FREE. There is even a program where they will come to your house and make the ID on the spot for those that can’t/won’t travel.

      You got to have an ID to do just about anything anymore. The ID is available for the asking. And the getting to the polls? That’s a free ride too…and not always from the politician that is “buying” your vote. A younger friend of mine (Black Man) that helps me out on the perimeter clean up here at Firebase Magnolia, related to me that a local long term politician here (also Black) would send his Church Bus around every election day to give folks a ride to the poll. He only went into the Black Neighborhoods and as each person stepped on the bus they were given a folded up bill “to buy you some lunch with.” S**** never voted for him, but enough people did that he was in office for nearly 40 years. We finally got his ass voted out in ’16 (by another Black Dude) and we are seeing a real turn around in County funds. Got rid of another long time grifter in City Hall last month in a run off.

      Glad that SCOTUS not only took this case, but came to the right decision. Gonna be interesting to see how the Georgia Case winds up. I don’t have a lot of hope for any positive results of any of this now. It no longer matters who votes anymore. The domestic enemies of our Republic now control who counts the votes.

  6. USMC Steve says:

    Not surprising. The 9th Circus is overturned more than all the other Circuit courts combined.

    • LC says:

      I’ve heard that, too, and decided to look it up. From 2006-2015, the average rate of reversal by SCOTUS across the circuit courts was 73%, with the Ninth coming in high at 81%, but below the Sixth at 84%. In 2016, the rate was 88%… but several circuit courts had 100% reversals.

      It is this highest in terms of overall reversals of cases, but that number is just 2.5% of all cases, with the Sixth being second at 1.7% (from 1994-2015), and the lowest being the Fifth at 1%.

      Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/26/us/politics/fact-check-trump-ninth-circuit.html

      https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/07-31-18%20Fitzpatrick%20Testimony.pdf

      • gitarcarver says:

        The other problem is that the 9th Circuit is massive in size and hears more cases than any other Circuit.

        Congress needs to step in and reduce the size of the 9th Circuit and simply create another Circuit.

        • LC says:

          From what I saw, apparently it represents 20% of the US population – that’s definitely pretty crazy. That said, I originally was curious if there was a correlation between court size and time per case or reversal rate, and while I didn’t find those numbers on a quick search, the Wikipedia page here has information on justices per court, and population represented.

          The Fifth Circuit had the lowest overall (vs SCOTUS) reversal rate in the 2018 document I listed above, but is 3rd highest in population represented,… and 7th in terms of population per judge. So I’m not sure any conclusions could be drawn from that.

          I don’t know enough about the court system, but given the judges per population (or per case, but hopefully that tracks similarly?) doesn’t put it as an outlier, even though population does, what’s the argument for splitting it? If each one had the same number of judges, I’d be all for it, but doesn’t that address it?

          • Thunderstixx says:

            That’s all you libs ever do is argue semantics and the dreaded “nuanced” intentions of the original framers of the Constitution that felt that you should actually have to work for a damn living…

            • LC says:

              I’m literally just pointing out numbers, and asking gitarcarver -who I wager knows a lot more about the courts than I do- what he thinks.

              Do you try to be this wrong about everything, or is it a natural gift?

          • gitarcarver says:

            First, let me say that I am not going to get into a spitting match with anyone here. (Or at least I try not to.) Life is too short for that.

            LC, from your comments, I suspect that you and I disagree more than we agree and that is fine. Sometimes ideological opposites can find common ground and in this day and age, as Americans, we need to find even the tiniest of common ground.

            The last real discussion we had was on an issue with you, Hondo and I. We all treated each other with respect and I thought the exchange was beneficial (even though we disagreed.)

            As for the Courts, numbers of population don’t tell the whole story. Don’t quote me on this, but as I remember the number of circuits was based on dividing the number of lower courts as equally as possible (something like 100 courts) and creating a Federal Circuit.)

            But here is the problem:

            According to the data, the 9th heard or had 10,225 cases in the last year. The next highest total is the 5th Circuit with 6,153 cases. That’s roughly a 40% drop in cases from the 9th to the 5th.

            https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/data_tables/fcms_na_appsumary0331.2021.pdf

            That difference results in the 9th needing 29 judges, and more part time judges, while other Circuits get along with an average of 12. (The 9th regularly pulls back retired judges to sit on cases. They have to.)

            https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/appealsauth.pdf

            The result is that in the 9th, the decisions – even the unanimous decisions of a 3 judge panel – often get overturned by 12 judges sitting en banc for a full hearing. The number of cases and the number of judges means that the 9th, more than any other Circuit is wildly contradictory within itself.

            It is easy to disagree with the 9th because it hears so many cases and publishes so many decisions.

            What that also means is that generally the Supreme Court only takes on cases of Constitutional importance or where different Circuits disagree with each other. With 10,000+ cases, the 9th is going to disagree more with other Circuits. That’s the way the numbers work out.

            People pick on the 9th (and in many cases rightfully so) but the Circuit that is off the rails in my opinion right now is the 4th. (Followed by the DC Court of Appeals.) For example, they recently decided a gun case where they declared that the Heller and Miller decisions didn’t apply. They have also made rulings against free speech where the Supreme Court has already ruled the speech was legal.

            In my opinion (and others) the 9th needs to be broken up not because of the decisions per se, but because of the case load and the inconsistency within the 9th itself. There is no way that a 3-0 panel decision should be overturned 12-0 by an en banc hearing of the 9th.

            Hope that lays out my thinking and position a little better.

            • LC says:

              I appreciate your response – no intent to get into a spitting match here, either. I’m quite willing to admit I don’t know a whole lot about the courts, and know you have direct experience and are pretty informed on it, so I wanted to hear your take. Even if we disagree.

              So, again, I appreciate the response, even if I’m not convinced:

              That’s roughly a 40% drop in cases from the 9th to the 5th.

              Even if we ignore the population angle (where I’d think, by and large, the number of cases brought to court is related to the population size), that 40% drop in cases from the Ninth to the Fifth corresponds to a roughly 40% drop in the number of judges. So, the cases-per-judge ratio is roughly comparable.

              If the Ninth had judges taking 50% more cases per judge, hell, that’d clearly be a problem, no question. And maybe the caseload is still a problem, but it doesn’t seem inconsistent between the Fifth and Ninth.

              The result is that in the 9th, the decisions – even the unanimous decisions of a 3 judge panel – often get overturned by 12 judges sitting en banc for a full hearing. The number of cases and the number of judges means that the 9th, more than any other Circuit is wildly contradictory within itself.

              This to me is incredibly interesting, and I need to look into it more – a quick search didn’t return any stats across all the Circuit courts, but maybe I missed it. It isn’t surprising to me that a 3-judge panel gets overturned by an en banc ruling (granted, it’s more likely on 2-1 decisions than 3-0 decisions!), but what I’d love to understand if there’s a correlation between the full size of the court and overturning 3-judge rulings. Eg, does the First Circuit court, with only 6 judges, have a lower rate than the Fourth, with 15? (I’d also love to know how many cases going to SCOTUS get overturned when heard by a 3-judge panel vs an en banc bench hearing.)

              And ultimately that gets to whether larger panels do a better job of getting things right. If so, then it would seem splitting up the 9th is a detriment to effective rulings. Or, alternatively, split it up, sure, but bring more judges on to each circuit court.

              In my opinion (and others) the 9th needs to be broken up not because of the decisions per se, but because of the case load and the inconsistency within the 9th itself. There is no way that a 3-0 panel decision should be overturned 12-0 by an en banc hearing of the 9th.

              And I guess this is ultimately our disagreement – mathematically, a random distribution of 3 judges from a wider pool of legal thought can be 3-0 or 2-1 (in either direction), and I’d say that 2-1 rulings being overturned is more likely than 3-0, simply because there’s already evidence of differing opinion, but the 3-0 is still very possible. If, however, it was a selection of 5 judges, then you get either 5-0, 4-1 or 3-2. Again, 3-2 would reasonably have a higher chance of being overturned than 5-0, but I’d think the 5-0 would be less likely to be overturned than the 3-0. The smaller the subset of the whole, the less likely it represents the mindset of all.

              And this is hardly constrained to just legal matters – gather a bunch of experts from theoretical physics, say, or neuroscience, and then ask a small subset of them about things that are still debated. Without a doubt, you’ll get different perspectives from random subsets of 3 (or 5) people, vs a more general consensus. It’s a mathematical issue intrinsic to opinions from small sample sizes, not something specific to the Ninth.

              • gitarcarver says:

                I think you are still missing the point.

                While a full sitting of the Court happens in all Circuits, in cases where there are 12 judges in the Circuit, part of those judges are going to be the ones who heard the original case.

                With the 9th, it is often the case that an en banc hearing does not have any of the original panel judges.

                That is where the “wildly inconsistent” aspect comes in.

                The 9th Circuit is simply too big and needs to be divided up.

      • USMC Steve says:

        I will read further, but I don’t trust anything the libtard propaganda rag NYT says. I will go with the gang below, and their info is significantly different, but it does show me that I was incorrect.

  7. Devtun says:

    9-3 decision? Wow, that court packing thing happened quick. 🙂

  8. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Major Moonbat coming to Seagull all over the place in 5, 4, 3,…

  9. SFC D says:

    “Votes cast by Black and Hispanic voters were more likely to be tossed out because they were cast in the wrong precinct, the appeals court found”. That’s pretty much a moot point. Arizona now allows you to vote at any authorized polling place within the county you’re registered to vote in. You no longer have to vote in the precinct you reside in. Aaaaand now the question is, why did black and hispanic voters tend to vote in the wron g precincts?

    • Skippy says:

      That’s a good question
      When I lived in Tucson
      I never voted in my precinct
      I voted at the CH in downtown Tucson
      WTF was the 9th thinking

  10. gitarcarver says:

    In another huge win for the Constitution, the Court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines that California’s law requiring disclosure of the names and addresses of large donors to causes and charities.

    This was logical as the Court had previously ruled that donations were a form of speech (to support causes of which one approves) and that people have the right to engage in political causes anonymously. (The US has a long history of this going back to Thomas Paine and even the Federalist Papers.)

    The donor lists were being used by radical groups to target people and thus the government was aiding suppression of speech with no valid interest in that speech.

    Here’s the opinion: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/19-251_p86b.pdf

    The Arizona case is big. In my opinion, the California donor case is bigger.

    • rgr769 says:

      You left out that the Court ruled Commiefornia’s statute requiring donor identification each year is unconstitutional. Thus, it ruled that the Thomas More Foundation and another charitable org don’t have to disclose the identity of their large donors so the progs can harass and attempt to cancel them. The state’s claim they needed the information to pursue charitable org fraud was a completely bogus argument. The state had never used this information to even investigate any charitable organization.

      I might add that the reason the Clinton Foundation is a Canadian charitable corporation is because Canadian law precludes discovery of its donors. Thus, progs love concealing their donors, but not those of their opponents.

      • gitarcarver says:

        You left out that the Court ruled Commiefornia’s statute requiring donor identification each year is unconstitutional.

        Just what do you think my comment and the decision I cited was?

        SMH

        • rgr769 says:

          Your first sentence doesn’t tell the reader which way the Court ruled. Not everyone here wants to wade through a Supreme Decision. I don’t mind because it was part of my job for almost 40 years.

  11. The Other Whitey says:

    Yet another example of the recent trend of “Look at all this vote fraud going on—but the 2020 election was completely legit and unimpeachable!”

  12. Messkit says:

    I was in Iraq, from Feb ’04 to August ’05, and witnessed women walking, with food and water for her and any number of kids, any manner of distance, some came 30 miles, just to be able to vote in the first free election in the country, since the Shaw was in power.

    And US democrats bitch that showing an ID is too burdensome??

    Some people just need a good solid smack in the face, to realize the reality hurts to be stupid.