Law | National | Politics

Supreme Court takes up tribal challenge to Arizona voter law

The U.S. Supreme Court heard Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, a voting rights case, on Monday.

The Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona and the Hopi Tribe, along with other plaintiffs, challenged Proposition 200, which was approved by voters in 2004. The law requires proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote.

Tribes are worried about members who were born in the U.S. but lack documentation. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the provision in April 2012, ruling that it conflicts with federal law, which already asks about citizenship.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne defended Proposition 200 and said the state is only asking voters to supply additional information at the polls. He said tribal members "can write down an Indian tribal identification number" as proof of citizenship.

'That shows that Congress did not intend to prohibit us from getting additional information as is necessary to determine the eligibility of the voter," Horne said, according to the transcript of the oral argument.

Other than that brief mention, tribal issues weren't brought up during the rest of the hearing.

Get the Story:
U.S. Supreme Court justices ask tough questions on voter registration law (The Arizona Republic 3/19)
Justices appear divided on Arizona voting law (The Washington Post 3/19)
Justices Appear Divided on Arizona Voting Law (The New York Times 3/19)

An Opinion:
Editorial: Arizona’s Barrier to the Right to Vote (The New York Times 3/19)

Supreme Court Oral Argument Transcript:
Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona v. Arizona (March 18, 2013)

9th Circuit Decision:
Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona v. Arizona (April 17, 2012)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court set to hear tribal challenge to Arizona voter law (3/12)
Editorial: Voting Rights Act necessary to prevent discrimination (3/12)
Supreme Court to review Arizona voter law that tribes oppose (10/16)

Join the Conversation