ACRU Brief Supports Arizona's Citizenship Law for Voting in Federal Elections


ACRU Staff


December 14, 2012

(Alexandria, VA) – The American Civil Rights Union filed a brief today with the United States Supreme Court in Arizona v. The Intertribal Council of Arizona in support of Arizona’s Proposition 200, which requires prospective voters to provide satisfactory evidence of citizenship to register to vote. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court ruling upholding that state law, concluding that federal election law preempts Proposition 200 in regard to federal elections.

“While states continue to move forward in preventing voter fraud by passing Voter ID laws, purging deceased voters from their rolls and blocking non-citizens from casting ballots, liberal groups and activists judges continue to weaken voter integrity,” said Susan Carleson, chairman of the ACRU and a leading opponent of vote fraud.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, contends that the Arizona law, which a majority of Arizona voters passed in 2004 by the initiative process, violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) enacted by Congress in 1993.

“The Appeals Court invented a new standard for preemption under the Election Clause that conflicts with Supreme Court precedent, other federal circuits, and the language of the Elections Clause itself,” the brief, written by ACRU General Counsel Peter Ferrara, says. “The State’s proof of citizenship requirement is consistent with the language and purposes of the NVRA, is not an obstacle to the registration of eligible voters, and the State has a valid interest in ensuring the registration only of eligible voters, the proof of citizenship requirement is legally valid.”

“Congress has no Constitutional authority under the Election Clauses of Article I, Section 4 or Article II, Section 1 to preempt a legitimate state voter qualification,” the brief states. “The power to set the qualifications of voters in all federal elections is expressly reserved to the states under Article I, Section 2 (House elections), the 17th Amendment (Senate elections), and Article II, Section 1 (Presidential elections).”

The American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) is dedicated to protecting the civil rights of all Americans by publicly advancing a Constitutional understanding of our essential rights and freedoms. The ACRU monitors and counters organizations that threaten our Constitutional rights. It files amicus briefs in critical civil rights cases, and defends the Constitution in print and broadcast media and on the Internet. For more information on the ACRU’s effort to preserve voter integrity visit

Download the brief here. (PDF)



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