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Horowitz: So much for state election powers: SCOTUS blocks Kansas from requiring proof of citizenship to vote

Op-ed

States' rights?

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We'll likely have to carry around papers to show we were vaccinated in order to live, even unfreely with masks, in this society, but illegal aliens can vote. That is the upshot of the latest insidious Supreme Court decision to allow lower courts to shred all voter verification processes in election law.

For the past few weeks, we've been told "states' rights" force us to pursue a "live and let live" policy toward state governors who violate the state's election law to weaken voter integrity laws. However, this principle is evidently a one-way street and doesn't apply to governors who want to follow, not break, state voter integrity laws. Then, the federal courts have every right to get involved and nullify those laws, and the Supreme Court doesn't seem to be concerned about the 10th Amendment and Art. I Sec. 4, which dictate that state legislatures prescribe the "Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections."

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied Kansas' request (in Schwab v. Fish) to hear an appeal from the 10th Circuit, which ruled earlier this year that the state could not require proof of citizenship to register to vote. Amid a trend of states seizing boundless powers to crush the lives and liberty of citizens under the guise of coronavirus, evidently anyone can get standing to sue and block a state from merely ensuring non-citizens don't vote.

In 2011, the duly elected Kansas legislature passed a law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote. Non-citizen voting is increasingly becoming a problem as the immigrant population grows and immigrants are automatically asked to register to vote when they obtain driver's licenses. In many states, there is automatic voter registration of anyone on record as having a driver's license, which includes legal immigrants in all states and illegal immigrants in some states. Just days after long lines were seen of illegal aliens registering for driver's licenses in New York beginning last December, the state Senate passed a law to enact automatic voter registration. This will help get illegal aliens on the voter rolls as well. Almost all of the 15 states that grant licenses to illegal aliens also have automatic voter registration.

There are already numerous questions of non-citizens voting in this election, including in states where the outcome hinged on razor-thin margins. The Nevada GOP is alleging, based on subpoenaed DMV data, that "6,260 non-citizens were registered to vote and 3,987 non-citizens had voted" in this past election.

There is no greater state interest in enacting legislation than keeping the franchise in the hands of the citizenry. The Kansas law passed in 2011 by 111-11 in the House of Representatives and 36-3 in the Senate, with more than 70% of Democrats supporting it. Yet the same federal courts that believe we should butt out of the business of states that violate their own election laws to weaken verification suddenly have no problem intervening and nullifying state laws that strengthen voter verification.

In April, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reiterated a lower court ruling that somehow asking for proof of citizenship violates the phantom Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and that the state interest does "not justify the burden imposed on the right to vote." Shockingly, the two judges (the third passed away) concocted their own law that states must first "show that a substantial number of noncitizens registered to vote" before enacting such measures.

So, while we are forced to show proof of citizenship to get a license and for many other public and private functions, states cannot require anyone to show papers to register to vote. I'm sure these same courts won't find any 14th Amendment issues when states inevitably pass "show your papers" requirements for individuals to prove they were vaccinated before they can obtain basic services or even employment.

There is no more foundational election integrity measure than ensuring non-citizens aren't voting. This is not some far-flung fear, but a prima facie concern. We have a record level of immigrants in this country, and the motor-voter laws seamlessly register anyone who signs up for a driver's license with nothing more than a voluntary honor system for immigrants to self-report. If anything, non-citizens are often harmed by weak verification, because some unwittingly sign up to vote and then are subject to deportation for violating federal law.

And talk about burdening fundamental rights! We are told that states can now place curfews on our movement, cover our mouths, vaccinate our bodies, shut down our businesses, schools, and churches, and track our every movement. They can even place travel bans on other states, something states couldn't do even under the Articles of Confederation. But the minute they try to stop non-citizens from voting … suddenly state powers go out the window.

There is a very salient point many will miss in this case. I warned earlier this week that if Republicans give up the fight on election integrity this year out of supposed respect for state powers, they will never be able to stop voter fraud, even if they win full control of the contested states. As we are seeing in every red state that tried to enact voter integrity laws, the same Supreme Court that seems too bashful to override state election policy decisions when they weaken existing integrity laws is suddenly eager to torch those states that try to enforce the laws and protect the franchise.

It is self-evident that we have a two-tiered justice system in this country: one for the elites, criminals, and illegal aliens, and the other for we the sheeple. It's just a shame we can't get illegal aliens to sue the results of this election or to sue against the heavy-handed coronavirus edicts suspending civil liberties.
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