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Policy / Domestic Policy

Federal Court Strikes Down Part of Arizona Voter ID Law

photo of Alexandra  Jaffe
April 17, 2012

A federal court ruled on Tuesday that Arizona can require citizens to show identification before they vote, but the court struck down the state's requirement for proof of U.S. citizenship prior to voting, Reuters reports.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the National Voting Rights Act barred Arizona's law from requiring proof of citizenship for voters. The law in question, Proposition 200, was passed in 2004 and made the state's voter-identification requirements more stringent.

According to Reuters, the majority opinion, written by Judge Sandra Ikuta, states that the "photo-identification requirement is not an invidious restriction" and does not run counter to the equal-protection clause included in the 14th Amendment.

The ruling comes in advance of next week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court on another Arizona law, SB 1070, which requires law-enforcement officers to ask people, upon arrest, for proof of citizenship. The law is being challenged by the Obama administration.

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