Democrats have spent months dismissing Republican concerns about voter fraud, but the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision this week upholding one state’s efforts to increase election integrity.
According to Breitbart, the high court’s conservative majority ruled that Arizona has an “entirely legitimate” interest in preventing voter fraud with a pair of measures banning ballot harvesting and requiring that voters cast ballots in the correct precinct.
Biden weighs in
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion after Democratic opponents challenged both laws as perceived violations of the Voting Rights Act.
The prevailing court opinion, however, found that the measures are appropriate, prompting fierce backlash from liberals. Even President Joe Biden weighed in by calling the decision an “assault” on democracy amid a national battle over state election laws.
Alito cited relevant factors including the availability of other voting methods, the relative burden of the challenged rules, and the state’s interests served by the restrictions in upholding the Arizona measures.
He went on to declare that addressing voter fraud is a “strong and entirely legitimate” motivation for the state laws, which he determined are not unduly burdensome.
The decision found that “mere inconvenience” is not enough cause to strike down such a law and that the “unremarkable” restrictions of these measures do not rise to an actionable burden or racial disparity.
Liberal minority dissents
Alito also made it clear that Arizona “generally” makes it easy to vote and offers roughly a month of early voting options.
“Having to identify one’s own polling place and then travel there to vote does not exceed ‘the usual burdens of voting,'” Alito wrote. “On the contrary, these tasks are quintessential examples of the usual burdens of voting.”
In addressing the dissenting opinion, Alito insisted that it was a “misdirection” that sought to impose a fundamental reworking of the Voting Rights Act, writing: “This is a radical project, and the dissent strains mightily to obscure its objective.”
He wrote that “fraud is a real risk” and that the states have no obligation to prove that it is occurring before working preemptively to limit it.
For her part, Justice Elena Kagan wrote the dissenting opinion, accusing the majority of citing “made-up factors” to undercut the true meaning of the Voting Rights Act and claiming that states “have always found it natural to wrap discriminatory policies in election-integrity garb.”