ACLU Comment on Supreme Court Ruling in Arizona Voting Case

July 1, 2021 9:30 am

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WASHINGTON — In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona voting restrictions. The case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, challenged two voting barriers — limitations on ballot collection and out-of-precinct voting — under Arizona law and whether those provisions violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by denying or abridging the right to vote in a manner that has a racially discriminatory effect.

The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Arizona filed an amicus brief in this case, where they argued that adopting the petitioners’ positions would be contrary to the broad remedial purpose of the Voting Rights Act and would gut the protections that Congress intended. The ACLU urged the court to adopt the manageable test that is already used by the majority of federal courts of appeals to consider the issue, which involves a fact-based, localized analysis.

Davin Rosborough, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, had the following reaction to today’s ruling:

“The court’s decision adopts a standard for proving violations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act that is unduly cramped and at odds with the law’s intent of eradicating all voting practices that are racially discriminatory in their effects on voting opportunity, whether blunt or subtle.

“While this ruling preserves Section 2 as a means to challenge the most egregious forms of racial discrimination in voting, the court’s narrowing of Section 2 is especially disturbing given its importance in combating voter suppression laws that disproportionately harm communities of color. Nonetheless, we still intend to use Section 2 to attack racially suppressive laws and vindicate its purpose whenever possible.”



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