On July 1, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a “6-3” vote that Arizona’s ban on “third-party” ballot collection and off-premises voting does not violate the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA). (VRA). This case is seen as a national example that will have a positive impact on future “voter fraud prevention” legislation in states throughout the United States.
First, let’s understand what the “Arizona ban on third-party ballot collection and off-premises voting” is all about.
The first is a ballot collection law that allows only certain people, such as family members, caregivers, and mailers, to deliver ballots to state campaign officials in advance.
The second is that provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct on polling day are considered spoiled ballots.
The need to create these two bills indicates that a person or group of people are collecting ballots and are just dropping them into any election ballot box on election day, regardless of whether they are from that precinct. From an outsider’s point of view, such legislation makes sense to avoid election fraud. Most U.S. states currently require voters to vote in their own precincts. In addition, about 20 states restrict third parties from collecting ballots, so the creation of these two bills is the general trend.
The Process of Legal Action
Since the two major parties had different attitudes toward these two bills, the Republicans supported them and the Democrats opposed them as violations of the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA) and took them to court. The case was won by the opposition in both the trial court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court judge wrote in the filing that “the policy of out-of-precinct voting and the criminalization of collecting the votes of others is discriminatory against American Indian, Hispanic and African-American voters in Arizona in violation of Section 2 of the VRA.” But the appeal was eventually overturned to the federal Supreme Court, allowing both bills to complete the legislative process. Justice Samuel Alito, who supported the case, wrote in the court’s opinion that “the judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals misunderstood and misapplied Section 2 of the (VRA).”
Since this is a national example, it will have a big impact on future elections. And the “6:3” ratio in this decision returns to the party ratio, with six conservative justices nominated by a Republican president against three liberal justices nominated by a Democratic president. It’s reminiscent of the election lawsuit late last year, and why the Trump nominee justices did not support Trump’s lawsuit.
The Inside Story of the Texas Lawsuit’s Dismissal
Recall that at the end of last year, the presidential election ballot opening results showed Biden winning the presidency. Late on December 7, Texas suddenly filed an “indictment” with the federal Supreme Court, suing Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin for constitutional violations in the election. The news shocked the nation. Eighteen states, including Alabama, quickly responded by joining the Texas lawsuit. There was a lot of momentum and Trump was counting on the Texas lawsuit to flip the election results. The Supreme Court responded quickly, and on December 11, nine justices voted “7-2” to dismiss the Texas lawsuit. The justices have since declined to hear any and all lawsuits related to the presidential election. The justices’ actions raised many questions about why none of the justices nominated during the Trump presidency supported Trump’s lawsuit. Although the justices are independent in adjudicating cases and are not influenced by party affiliation. But the nominees and the nominees should be fairly close in philosophy, and support for each other is to be expected.
Days after the Texas case was dismissed, insider information circulated online: “A Supreme Court justice’s assistant heard the justices arguing among themselves. He said the justices, as usual, went into a room dedicated to exploring and arguing the case. Usually the justices argue inside in a civilized manner, and cannot be heard from the outside. But while discussing the Texas prosecution, the staffer heard heated arguments penetrating through the walls, with Chief Justice John Roberts and other liberal justices insisting that the case not be taken up. And they threatened the conservative justices who advocated hearing the case: “If you take this case, can you be held responsible for the riots? “
The justices have a long way to go to keep the big picture in mind
Now that time has changed, we can calmly look back at the broader context. After the death of Floyd, an African-American man who was kneeled down by police officers in Minneapolis on May 26 last year, riots broke out across the U.S. at the instigation of the Black Lives Matter (BLM). According to the New York Times, there were 4,700 BLM riots across the United States in June, an average of 140 per day. There were rumors of shootings, violent attacks, and looting of famous stores and small and medium-sized businesses in various places. By December there were still riots in a few places, in which case the justices had to consider the riot factor, and the decision-making process can be speculated as follows.
Chief Justice Roberts persuaded three conservative justices nominated by Trump to be more senior, plus three liberal justices nominated by the Democratic Party, a total of seven justices voted to dismiss the Texas lawsuit, and two conservative justices, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, still insisted on admitting the case, thus creating The “7-2” Texas lawsuit was dismissed. We can imagine the bitterness in the hearts of these four conservative justices, who saw a lot of electoral malpractice in this election, but had to avoid throwing the country into turmoil, so they chose not to intervene for the time being. They must have made up their minds that they must rectify the election order and eradicate the election fraud. We will definitely see them continue to escort the bill to rectify the election order in the future.
The U.S. is an old democracy, and the election laws set more than 200 years ago must have many loopholes, and with the changes in time and environment, the laws must be amended to keep up with the times. Fair and impartial elections are essential to a democratic system, and we look forward to significant improvements in state election laws in the coming years.