High court considering appeal over Arizona voter ID law

Story highlights

  • Arizona's law requires prospective voters to provide proof of citizenship
  • The law was passed in 2004 but has been in federal court limbo ever since
  • Opponents say that would disenfranchise some voters
Justice Anthony Kennedy has put on hold a lower court's ruling invalidating Arizona's voter identification law.
Kennedy, in a one-page order Thursday, told parties on both sides of the issue to file legal briefs by Wednesday. The high court would then presumably decide whether the requirements would remain in place temporarily.
The state law was passed in 2004 and has been lingering in the federal courts ever since. At issue is whether the restrictive law conflicts with congressional voting guidelines, designed to make it easier to register and vote for federal candidates.
Proposition 200 would require voters to present proof of citizenship before being allowed to register and then cast a ballot. Opponents say that would disenfranchise some voters, including many Hispanic-American citizens who may lack ready access to the documents.
Arizona officials have asked the justices to allow the requirement to remain place until after the November elections.
The high court is considering a separate Arizona appeal over SB 1070, the state's immigration crackdown law. A decision in that case is due by month's end.
The voter identification case is Arizona v. Gonzalez (11A1189).