Last week I wrote that the Ninth Circuit got it wrong when it put Arizona's voter ID law on hold. My hope: that the Supreme Court would put the Ninth Circuit judges in their place and overturn the decision. On Friday, put them in their place they did. Like Sir Winston Churchill once observed, when the "eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber." This time, the Supreme Court brought the Ninth Circuit's jabbering to a quick end.
When the Ninth Circuit overturned Arizona's voter ID law, it did not explain or justify its reasoning. The Supreme Court reasoned that the order couldn't stand because it offered no explanation "showing the ruling and findings of the District Court to be incorrect." Because Arizona has an important interest in safeguarding the integrity of its electoral process, the Court vacated the Ninth Circuit's opinion. The result: Arizona's voter ID law is back on the books.
The Supreme Court's ruling is a win on two fronts. It respects federalism by rejecting the Ninth Circuit's unwarranted intervention in state policy. It also recognizes that "voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process." The simple step of requiring voter ID is critical in protecting the integrity of elections.
Benjamin Barr is a constitutional policy analyst with the Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Studies.
-Supreme Court Gonzales v. Arizona: order granting certiorari and vacating stay
-Goldwater Institute: "An Exercise in Mountains and Molehills"
-Gonzales v. Arizona pleadings and court documents: Moritz College of Law