On June 17, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. This case involves an Arizona law that requires voter-registration officials to “reject” any application for registration--including one submitted via a Federal Form--that is not accompanied by concrete evidence of citizenship. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), however, requires that states “accept and use” the Federal Form in question, which does not require documentary evidence of citizenship. The question is therefore whether Arizona’s evidence of-citizenship requirement, as applied to Federal Form applicants, is pre-empted by the NVRA’s mandate that States “accept and use” the Federal Form.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Scalia, the court held by a vote of 7-2 that the National Voter Registration Act precludes Arizona law from requiring a Federal Form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself. Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined the majority opinion. Justice Kennedy joined Justice Scalia’s opinion in part and filed a separate opinion concurring in part and in the judgment. Justices Thomas and Alito filed dissenting opinions.
To discuss the case, we have Tom Caso, an asociate professor at Chapman University School of Law.