Supreme Court Monday Rulings: Voter ID Ruling Preserves Minority Rights

In a 7-2 triumph SCOTUS squashed Arizona's voter ID law. This is not just a win for the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc -- the case's plaintiff -- but also for those who believe that Arizona's legal defense was just a racist front against illegal immigrants.

In brief, SCOTUS ruled that Arizona's 2004 referendum requiring voters to present proof of citizenship at the polls, is preempted by the 1993 federal "Motor Voter" law. This twenty-year old legislation requires that DMVs also offer voter registration, thus facilitating a simple route to registration.  

How does this affect you? Due to this legislation, voter ID laws which spring up this past presidential election season from (mostly conservative) states across the Union may now be invalid. And for good reason. In most cases, these laws have been key legal suppression of minority voters. 

In this case, Justices Alito and Thomas were the only two who dissented. 

 

Four other cases were decided today. Via @scotusblog this is what we've learned today

Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis: Antitrust Challenge to Pharmaceutical Practices

The Court does not hold that reverse payments are presumptively unlawful. The Eleventh Circuit erred in affirming the dismissal of the FTC's complaint.  The Eleventh Circuit is reversed.

Alleyne v. United States: Mandatory Minimum Sentencing 

Any fact that increases the mandatory minimum is an "element" that must be submitted to the jury.

Salinas v. Texas: Fifth Amendment Self-Incrimination Rights

Texas Criminal Court of Appeals is affirmed. 

Maracich v. Spears: State Consumer Protection Laws

Justice Kennedy noted that if the solicitation at issue did violate the law, there is a possibility that the size of damages that could be assessed (considering the number of solicitations) could be in the multimillions and might therefore be excessive.

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Uchechi Kalu

Uchechi is PolicyMic's Politics Intern and a senior@ Princeton University. Tweet her @chechkalu

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