Capitol Media Services
Supreme Court & AZ voter ID Ruling
Mon Oct 16, 2006 00:35
 

Hourly Update
Goddard asks Supreme Court to repeal recent voter ID ruling
By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.10.2006
http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/150447.php

PHOENIX -- The state will ask a justice of the nation's high court to let county election officials require voters to produce identification for next month's general election.
Attorney General Terry Goddard said Tuesday legal papers will be given to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, possibly by the end of the week, asking him to void an order by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals barring the state from enforcing the voter ID provisions of Proposition 200 while a legal challenge to them works its way through federal court.

Goddard's move came as the full appellate court refused Tuesday to overturn a decision by two of its judges blocking the identification rules. The attorney general said that leaves the Supreme Court as the only opportunity for relief.
His decision drew surprise from Nina Perales, the attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
"You're kidding," she told Capitol Media Services when informed of Goddard's decision. It was Perales who convinced the appellate court that allowing the state to require voters to provide identification would be a hardship on many Arizonans.

But Goddard said he will argue to Kennedy that changing the identification rules now, just weeks before the election, would create a real hardship on the state.
Goddard also dismissed Perales' concerns about the ID requirements causing problems at the polls. He said the rules "did not cause significant disruption" during last month's primary.

Perales, however, said that misses the point.
"There is an untold number of people who found out about these restrictions, realized they couldn't satisfy them, and didn't go to vote," she said. "There's also an untold number of people who presented (at the polls), saw the posters (about identification requirements) and didn't bother signing in but turned around and left at that point."
Kennedy is only one of the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. But as the "duty justice" for cases arising out of the Ninth Circuit he has the legal authority, by himself, to dissolve that court's order on an emergency basis.

Proposition 200, approved by voters in 2004, requires people to prove they are U.S. citizens before they can register. And they must present certain acceptable forms of identification before they can cast a ballot -- usually one government-issued card with a photograph and address or two other forms of identification without pictures.
In the lawsuit filed earlier this year, Perales said this amounts to discrimination because Latinos are less likely to have the kinds of ID required.

The result, she said, would deny Latinos the right to vote, running afoul of federal voting rights laws.
The case was consolidated with a separate lawsuit charging that the requirements discriminate against the poor who are less likely to have the required documents.

U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver refused to keep the rules from taking effect until she could hear the entire case. That allowed the Sept. 13 primary to be conducted under Proposition 200 rules.

But the appellate judges, while not ruling on the merits of Perales' argument, decided last week to have the Nov. 7 general election conducted under the pre-200 rules.
Goddard said that's not fair, as election workers would have to be retrained on what they can ask would-be voters. "In the time we have left it's virtually impossible to do that," he said.

Perales said Goddard is ignoring the fact that elections in Arizona were conducted under the old rules "for years." She said many people who worked elections before will be at the polls next month.

The appellate court ruling has provoked anger by many backers of Proposition 200.

The latest manifestation is a planned rally at noon Friday at the state Capitol being organized by the Mohave County Minutemen. That group, which is not affiliated with the Minuteman Corps, is promoting "one hour of silence to express our rage" against the "treasonous Ninth Circuit court judges" who issued the order blocking enforcement of Proposition 200.
The e-mail proposing the demonstration urges people to bring their own flag, their own gag and "exercise your 2nd amendment rights."

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PROPOSITION 200
Proposition 200 would require that evidence of United States citizenship be presented ...

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