On June 18, the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to leave the recent Ninth Circuit opinion in Gonzalez v Arizona intact, at least for now. The Ninth Circuit had ruled several weeks ago that Arizona must accept the federal voter registration postcard forms. Arizona acknowledges it must accept the forms, but the state requires some add-on questions that are not on the federal form. The Ninth Circuit had construed the federal postcard registration law to mean that the federal form, all by itself, is sufficient and the state can’t require extra information.
The information that Arizona wants is proof that applicants are citizens. The federal form asks people to say under penalty of perjury that they are citizens and otherwise eligible to vote, but does not require additional documentation. See Scotusblog’s report on this case, which includes a link to the MALDEF brief. There is also a link to a second brief, filed by an ally of MALDEF, which discusses the problem that Arizona’s law creates for some residents of American Indian reservations.
Arizona will file a final brief by June 20, and then there will probably be a quick response from the U.S. Supreme Court, to determine if the Ninth Circuit ruling stands during the next few months.