The Supreme Court began hearing arguments Monday over a critical case that could influence voter ID laws across the country.
Arizona lawyers are asking the high court to reinstate Proposition 200, which required all residents to show proof of U.S. citizenship before registering to vote. A federal appeals court threw out the portion of the voter-approved law that demanded the extra citizenship requirements, saying it violated federal laws designed to make registering to vote easier.
Four other states—Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee—have similar voter registration requirements and 12 other states are considering such legislation.
Arizona voters passed Proposition 200 in 2004 with the goal of preventing illegal immigrants from voting. The law requires residents to show a driver’s license issued after 1996, a U.S. birth certificate, or passport when signing up to vote.
Arizona Democratic Congressman Raúl Grijalva commented that the law is more about making voting more difficult for the immigrant community.
“It’s about voter suppression,” the five-term Congressman said on Jansing & Co Monday. “It’s about confronting the changing demography in this country that’s showing political muscle across the nation and now what do we do to suppress that vote, minimize that vote and marginalize the effort toward registration in communities that have not registered in the past.”
Arizona’s voter registration measure is one of many championed by Republicans. The law’s opponents say reinstating the measure would provide states with the green light to restrict voter registration and adopt other rules that suppress the vote.
A decision on the case is expected by the end of June.