For Immediate Release
ACRU Applauds Supreme Court Action to Protect Voting Rights
Press Contact: Hugh Newton, 703.408.1065
Washington, D.C. - September 21, 2006 - The American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) applauds the emergency relief granted by the Supreme Court on Friday. 20 October 2006, reversing an injunction granted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against an Arizona voter ID law for the coming election. This is both a correct decision and a welcome injection of common sense in American elections.
The law, which requires photo ID for voters in Arizona, grew out of a successful initiative passed by voters in that state intended to make sure that those who vote there are American citizens and vote only once in each election. The US District Court had approved the law as a valid exercise of legislative power there. The Ninth Circuit had reversed the refusal of the trial court to grant an injunction against the law. The action of the Supreme Court puts the law back in place, as the trial court had ruled.
The ACRU is a legal charity established in 1998 to support the constitutional rights of all citizens. One of the rights which the ACRU supports is the separation of powers in the Constitution. Concerning voter ID laws, this means that legislative decisions should be made by those elected to decide public policy and write laws, namely the state legislatures and the Congress.
The ACRU believes strongly that neither state nor federal courts have a legitimate right to ignore and reverse decisions of states and Congress to assure that voters are Americans and to curtail voter fraud of all types. The "desirability" of a law is a legislative decision, not a judicial one. Legislators make such decision in the full knowledge that the voters may turn them out of office if they disagree with the laws they pass.
Most state courts and all federal courts do not answer to the voters for the "wisdom" of their decisions. That is precisely why decisions to establish voter ID laws belong in the hands of elected legislators, not unelected judges. This difference is a constitutional right of all citizens, since the Constitution guarantees a "republican" form of government. And that means that public policy decisions should be made by those who face elections, not by judges.
For additional information on constitutional aspects of these cases, contact: John Armor, Esq., John_Armor@aya,yale.edu, 828.526.3149.