Skip to comments.Left Loses Big in Citizenship-Verification Supreme Court Case
Posted on 06/17/2013 8:03:34 PM PDT by jazusamo
Something perverse happened after the Supreme Courts decision today invalidating citizenship-verification requirements in Arizona for registrants who use the federal voter registration form. The Left knows they lost most of the battle, but are still claiming victory. Thats what they do. Election-integrity proponents and the states are saying they lost, but dont realize they really won.
The Left wins even when they lose, and conservatives are often bewildered and outfoxed in the election-process game.
Earlier today, I called the decision a nothingburger. After re-reading the case and reflecting a bit more, its clear that the decision was a disaster for the Left and their victory cackles are hollow and they know it.
Worse, conservatives dooms-dayers who have never litigated a single National Voter Registration Act case have taken to the airwaves, describing the case as a disaster which invites illegal-alien voting.
In the last year, Ive litigated five NVRA cases and worked on the preemption issues for years, and there is more to cheer in todays opinion than there is to bemoan. Those complaining about the opinion dont understand what the Lefts goal was in this case: total federal preemption. On that score, Justice Scalia foiled them; indeed, the decision today was a huge war won, even if the small Arizona battle was lost.
From my time in the Justice Department Voting Section, I can remember intimately the wars over some of the preemption issues decided today.
The Left essentially believes that anyone who fills out a federal Election Assistance Commission registration form should be allowed on the rolls, no questions asked. There were complex fights over the citizen check-off box issues, with the Left wanting the box rendered meaningless, and conservatives and election-integrity proponents believing a registration cannot be processed until a registrant affirms on the box that he or she is a citizen.
Before the decision today, here is what the Left wanted:
● Invalidation of Arizonas requirement that those submitting a federal form provide proof of citizenship with their federal form. Mind you, the citizenship-proof requirement is NOT part of federal law and the Election Assistance Commission does NOT require it in the form they drafted.
● Invalidation of state citizenship-verification requirements when a state voter registration form is used (yes, such forms exist separate from the federal requirement) on the basis of federal preemption. They wanted the Arizona case to invalidate all state citizenship-verification requirements.
● Automatic registration if a registrant submits a completed federal EAC approved registration form, no questions asked.
● Federal preemption on the ability for states to have customized federal EAC-approved forms that differed from the default EAC form.
● Federal preemption over states, like Florida and Kansas, looking for independent information on citizenship to root out noncitizens from the voter rolls. Again, the Left wanted the federal EAC form to be the no-questions-asked ticket to the voter rolls.
So what is the score on these five goals after Justice Scalias opinion today? Election-integrity advocates are batting .800; left wing groups, .200. And the most insignificant issue of the five is the one issue the Left won. Justice Scalia foiled 4 of 5 of their goals, and the 4 biggest ones.
How does it work? The decision today uncorks state power. The Left wanted state power stripped and they lost.
First, Arizona can simply push the state forms in all state offices and online, and keep those federal forms in the back room gathering dust. When you submit a state form, you have to prove citizenship. Thanks to Justice Scalia, that option is perfectly acceptable. Loss for the Left. Victory for election integrity.
You might say, Thats a small victory. Nonsense. This was the whole ballgame to the groups pushing the Arizona lawsuit. They lost, period.
Next, when voters use a state, as opposed to a federal, form, they can still be required to prove citizenship. The federal form is irrelevant in that circumstance.
After the decision today, states have a green light to do double- and triple-checking even if a registrant uses the federal form. The Left wanted the submission of a federal form to mean automatic no-questions-asked registration. This is a big loss for the Left because now states can put suspect forms in limbo while they run checks against non-citizen databases and jury-response forms. Another significant victory in todays decision. The Left wanted to strip them of that double-checking power.
The decision today is a great example of how conservatives can be distracted by squirrels running past. It is understandable and forgivable because they arent daily immersed in the long-term election-process agenda of the left-wing groups. Nor do they daily involve themselves with the details of election process. But having been in the preemption wars for nearly a decade, I can assure you this case is a big win, even if it doesnt appear so at first glance.
>> After the decision today, states have a green light to do double- and triple-checking even if a registrant uses the federal form.
It seems to me that the only way that this will really benefit the nation is if swing states and Marxist states (the usual suspects) enact positive voter ID/verification.It doesn’t make much difference if Wyoming,for example,enacts it.
Look! Squirrel! (pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!) More shuck and jive from the left, and more reasons to love Scalia!
Scalia is a 10th Amendment supporter, isn’t he? Makes sense.
usually i read this and think “its the GOP trying to make chicken soup out of chicken poop” but this guy seems to know what he’s talking about and has been fighting this fight for a while...
Now, if the states just pick up on it...
Well I’m certainly no expert, but when we railed against it earlier today, guess what this writer was doing. He was calling it a nothing-burger.
Now he’s evidently calling it a something burger. Great.
I’ve got no vested interest in mischaracterizing the decision. If it is as he stated, excellent.
That’s pretty much the conclusion I came to also.
This may be a win. Hope so.
Excellent post! If J. Christian Adams feels this strongly then it’s time to celebrate.
I’ve wondered about this decision today, particularly the fact that Scalia took the lead.
Bump...Christian Adams knows of what he speaks, in my view.
I guess the problem is if the state is under democrat control, the state forms get pushed into the back room.
Couldn’t agree more, smooth.
I was amazed about Scalia and his stance but this makes sense.
didn’t even dawn on me who the author was...this is the same guy who blew the whistle on the racism in the DOJ and the voting fraud arm of the DOJ- hence if this was bad news i think he’d be flipping out...
There were a few Freepers who got it and interpreted it the same way too on the other lead article. Had to re-read those posts again...
Good article, thanks for posting
Voters are still required to affirm on the federal form that they are citizens right? Only just not have to prove it.
Just create two lines at each polling place.
One: Federal, state and local offices (full ID and citizenship required)
Two: Federal only (Federal EAC form only required)
Put up a camera that snaps photos of those in the Federal line.
Lets see how many people enter the ‘Federal only’ line!
Okay. Great. I’m comforted to hear that.