Arizona Voter-ID Law: Alive and Well For Now

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Daily news and commentary by: Whymrhymer at the Blogger News Network

In 2004, the citizens of Arizona voted on and approved a state law that would require all Arizona voters to prove that they were U.S. citizens when they registered to vote and provide a photo-ID at the polls on election day. This law was part of Arizona Proposition 200; a package of laws that, in plain English, was intended to stop illegal immigrants from voting and from receiving public benefits.

One would think that once the voters of the state made their will known (the law passed with 56% state-wide approval) that would be the end of it; but this is America and Americans have a legal right to challenge laws that they feel are unjust. This law had an enormous amount of opposition before the 2004 election and plenty of legal challenges after it was passed.

In May of this year one of those challenges was successful; a suit brought by the ACLU and others was rejected by a Federal judge but that Federal Judge’s ruling was then reversed by the most controversial appeals court in the nation, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 9th Circuit Court issued an order, with no explanation attached, saying that Proposition 200 could not be enforced in the 2006 election. The Arizona Attorney General , Terry Goddard, then appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court and yesterday in a unanimous (but unsigned) ruling the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit — putting Proposition 200 back into effect on November 7th.

It should be indelibly etched in the memories of the Arizona voters that, before the 2004 election, Proposition 200 had some very high-powered opposition, the list reads like a Who’s Who list of Arizona politics and includes people from all political persuasions: both Arizona Senators, John McCain and John Kyl; the Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano; the majorities of the Arizona Republican Party, the Arizona Democratic Party, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party; as well as most large labor organizations such as the AFL-CIO were all actively in favor of allowing illegals to vote and receive public assistance. Add to this list, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal.

If you are starting to get the impression that people and organizations who might profit in one way or another from a large supply of cheap labor, such as that provided by illegal immigrants, didn’t want to see that supply of cheap labor go away; you might just have the correct impression. You might also get the impression that the government of the state of Arizona is controlled by these cheap-labor-profiteers; controlled to the point where the Governor and both U.S. Senators are their willing lackeys.

The people of the state of Arizona in 2004 were wise and strong and self-assured enough to ignore the high-powered opposition to a law that makes perfect sense, and vote to pass that law; now in 2006 and in 2008 one can only hope they remember who the opposition was and ‘take out the garbage’ who proved that the welfare of legal Arizona citizens is a distant second place on their priority list.

Links:

The Los Angeles Times: High Court Allows Arizona to Enact New Voter ID Law

From the blogosphere: In Shocker, Arizona to Restrict Voting to Legal Voters; SCOTUS Season – Voter Identification in Arizona

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Arizona Proposition 200 (2004)

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