The U.S. Supreme Court issued its final decisions of the current term this week, including a landmark ruling that bolstered the right of states to combat election fraud with statewide voting restrictions.
While President Joe Biden joined others on the left in decrying the supposed “assault” on democracy, Republican Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich heralded the high court’s decision as a boon to election integrity, the Washington Examiner reported.
Details of the case
At issue in the case were two Arizona laws. One prohibits so-called ballot harvesting and the other requires voters to cast ballots in the correct precinct.
As the Supreme Court determined this week, those rules are not, as many critics insist, racially discriminatory.
Democrats have challenged the state laws since 2016, arguing that they violate Section 2 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Justice Samuel Alito, however, wrote for the majority in declaring that the restrictions resulted in trivial racial disparities and do not impose out-of-the-ordinary burdens. He went on to explain that Arizona “generally” makes voting a simple and convenient process, including 30 days of early voting by mail or in person.
He reasoned that if the dissenting justices prevailed, the precedent would essentially preclude states from enacting election laws as they see fit.
“Confidence in the process”
“Fraud can affect the outcome of a close election, and fraudulent votes dilute the right of citizens to cast ballots that carry appropriate weight,” Alito added. “Fraud can also undermine public confidence in the fairness of elections and the perceived legitimacy of the announced outcome.”
Soon after, Brnovich expressed his appreciation for the favorable ruling, insisting that it would help “maintain confidence in the process and of the integrity of the results,” as the Examiner reported.
On the other side of the debate, Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissent that the majority sought to gut the Voting Rights Act by downplaying the prevalence of efforts to disenfranchise racial minorities.
“In recent months, State after State has taken up or enacted legislation erecting new barriers to voting,” she wrote. “Two laws even ban handing out food or water to voters standing in line.”
Biden has previously decried such state election laws and issued a call to action in response to this week’s Supreme Court ruling, declaring: “Today’s decision also makes it all the more imperative to continue the fight for the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore and expand voter protections.”