SCOTUS to Hear Potential Blockbuster Voting Rights Case

Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two major voting rights cases from Arizona. The instances, Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, demand an Arizona coverage that requires voters who vote in person to do so in their assigned precincts and also a state law that prohibits so-called”ballot harvesting,” in which mail-in ballots are collected and returned by someone aside from a voter’s caregiver, family member, mail provider, or an election officer. 

Facts of this Case

Such a discriminatory”outcome” occurs if an election is not”equally open to participation” by racial minorities, providing them”less opportunity than other members of their electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice”

The State of Arizona grants all citizens an equal opportunity to vote in person or by mail. However, additionally, it has voting laws in place that govern those voting processes. Arizona has an”non – precinct coverage,” which does not count provisional ballots cast in person on Election Day beyond their voter’s designated precinct. In addition, it has a”ballot-collection legislation,” called H.B. 2023, which allows only particular individuals (i.e., family and household members, caregivers, mail carriers, and elections officers ) to deal with another individual’s completed ancient ballot.

Both suits before the Court involve the above provisions. While a Ninth Circuit panel confirmed, the entire Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, reversed.

Back in Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee, the Ninth Circuit held that Arizona violated § 2 of the Voting Rights Act by (1) requiring peer voters to cast ballots in their assigned precincts; and (2) banning”ballot-harvesting.” The federal appeals court stated that because racial minorities disproportionately vote out-of-precinct and utilize ballot-harvesting, the Voting Rights Act compels the State to permit those practices.

The Supreme Court granted certiorari in the two instances on October 2, 2020. In Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee, the justices have agreed to look at the following questions:

Whether § 2 of the Voting Rights Act compels countries to authorize any voting practice that could be used disproportionately by racial minorities, even if existing voting procedures are race-neutral and Provide all voters an equal opportunity to vote; and
Whether the Ninth Circuit correctly held that Arizona’s ballot-harvesting prohibition was tainted by means of intent though the legislators were admittedly driven by partisan interests and by allegedly”unfounded” concerns regarding voter fraud.
In Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, the justices agreed to consider the following question:

Whether Arizona’s out-of-precinct coverage, which does not count provisional ballots cast in person on Election Day beyond their voter’s designated precinct, violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act; and also
Whether Arizona’s ballot-collection legislation, which permits only particular individuals (i.e., household members, caregivers, mail carriers and elections officers ) to deal with another individual’s completed ancient ballot, violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act or the 15th Amendment.
The cases have been analyzed and are scheduled for oral argument on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
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