The Supreme Court just dealt a major blow to Democrats in a key win for election integrity.
According to CNBC, America’s highest court ruled 6-3 on Thursday to uphold Arizona’s controversial voting rules supported by Republicans and admonished by Democrats for their allegedly “discriminatory” nature against black, Hispanic and Native American voters.
In particular, the case centered around two rules that, according to The Wall Street Journal, “prohibit[ed] third parties from collecting mail-in ballots” and “disallow[ed] votes cast in the wrong precinct.”
The “ballot collection law” prohibits most people aside from family members from collecting and delivering mail-in ballots to their respective polls, CNBC reported.
The other rule, coined the “out-of-precinct policy,” unsurprisingly removes ballots cast in the wrong precinct from the equation, effectively preventing “ballot harvesting.”
A federal appeals court had previously determined that the two rules violated the Voting Rights Act since they (allegedly) primarily affected minorities.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito offered the Court’s majority opinion, asserting that neither rule violated the law.
“Held: Arizona’s out-of-precinct policy and HB 2023 do not violate §2 of the VRA, and HB 2023 was not enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose,” he wrote, according to The Guardian.
“A procedure that appears to work for 98% or more of voters to whom it applies — minority and non-minority alike — is unlikely to render a system unequally open,” he added.
Chief Justice John Robert, along with Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, concurred.
Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor — each of which was appointed by a Democratic president — dissented.
“What is tragic here is that the Court has (yet again) rewritten — in order to weaken — a statute that stands as a monument to America’s greatness, and protects against its basest impulses,” Kagan wrote in her dissent, according to The Associated Press.
“What is tragic is that the Court has damaged a statute designed to bring about ‘the end of discrimination in voting.’ I respectfully dissent.”
However, Justice Alito maintained that it was “very easy to vote” under Arizona’s current process and that expecting state residents to identify their correct polling location and then travel to that location did “not exceed the ‘usual burdens of voting.’”
According to CNBC, a lower court had found that the percentage of minorities who cast ballots at incorrect precincts on election day approached 1 percent while the percentage of non-minority voters who made the same mistake was about 0.5 percent.
The Democrats’ implication here should be insulting to minority voters, but aside from that implication, we should approach this with an equal treatment mindset and expect any registered voter to take his (or her) responsibility seriously enough to locate their correct precinct.
Alito reiterated that much in his opinion, of course, stating that the law applies to minorities and non-minorities alike.
We could safely say that the procedure would be unjust if it were reserved for minority groups alone, but that isn’t the case here.
Aside from the polling location rule, Alito argued in favor of the collection measure, saying that Democrats failed to prove the law’s “disparate impact,” and that, even if the law did have such an impact, its significance would be so minute that it would not violate the Voting Rights Act considering the rule’s origin was not discriminatory, according to CNBC.
Outside of the intimate media buzz circulating about the High Court, Arizona Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich expressed his gratitude for the ruling on Twitter.
“I am thankful the justices upheld states’ ability to pass and maintain commonsense election laws, at a time when our country needs it most,” he wrote on Thursday.
JUST IN: #SCOTUS rules in favor of Arizona’s election integrity protections in 𝑩𝒓𝒏𝒐𝒗𝒊𝒄𝒉 𝒗 𝑫𝑵𝑪. I am thankful the justices upheld states’ ability to pass and maintain commonsense election laws, at a time when our country needs it most.
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) July 1, 2021
The Court’s ruling comes at a crucial time in determining the value of election integrity, and has established a precedent for similar cases moving forward.
Democrats continue to lose the fight in their war on election integrity, whether by evidence of this case or by bolstered election integrity laws passed in select states around the country — and rightfully so.
This now-precedential case should implicate that any election integrity case potentially on its way to face the nine judges sees a similar outcome.
Regardless, this is a much-needed victory, and we’ll accept it as a step forward in achieving the fairest, most upright election process possible.
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