Arizona's Voter-ID Law Gets Temporary Pass From U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

In April, the U.S. Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a portion of Arizona's voter-approved voter-ID law, intended to keep non-citizens from voting.

Because of that ruling, Arizona was supposed to stop enforcing the law.

But a new order by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy permits the law to go into effect -- for the time being.

Kennedy's order
 comes in response to Arizona Solictor General David Cole's motion on Wednesday that sought a stay to the Ninth Circuit's ruling.

Though the Ninth had upheld a provision that required people to show ID when voting, the appeals court also denied Arizona the ability to reject federal registration forms based on the failure to show proof of citizenship.

That ruling was hailed as a victory by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, (a.k.a. MALDEF), which is challenging 2004's Proposition 200 on the basis that it prevents some people -- especially naturalized immigrants -- from voting.

Kennedy wants plaintiffs MALDEF and the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona to file replies to Arizona's latest motion by Monday afternoon. An article on the Jurist legal site today states that this means Arizona can "enforce the controversial law until the Supreme Court issues a final ruling in the case."

Presumably that ruling will come sooner rather than later, considering this year's deadline to register to vote for primary elections is July 30. The general election voter-registration deadline is October 9, says the Arizona Secretary of State's office.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern