Jan. 22, 2021 – SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general on Thursday campaigning for the right to vote in an amicus letter presented to the U.S. Supreme Court in Brnovich versus Democratic National Committee. The case focuses on consolidated challenges to a number of electoral rules in Arizona that discriminate against Black, Latino and Native American voters in the state. In the letter from the court friend, the coalition urges the US Supreme Court to reaffirm the decision of the Ninth Circle to put down the discriminatory rules and uphold longstanding national protection under the Voting Rights Act.
“The color of your skin should not determine your right to choose.” said Attorney General Becerra. “It’s in our constitution and that’s why we have the voting rights law. Unfortunately, there are people who believe the only way to win is to refuse entry to the ballot box – and take their fight to the US Supreme Court. And as we have done time and again, we are pushing back against those who try to disenfranchise our fellow Americans. This is not about a state or a discriminatory law. The point here is to advocate protective measures that are at the core of our quest for a more perfect union. “
On January 27, 2020, the Ninth County ruled against an Arizona electoral law and separate administrative policy, each designed to criminalize certain ballot collection activities and requiring the complete rejection of ballot papers cast by voters outside of the constituency . In fact, the Ninth Circle found that Arizona’s criminalization of the collection of someone else’s ballot papers by 2016 House Bill 2023 was enacted with discriminatory intent, imposing restrictions on the ability of minority voters to have their voice heard by trusting their ballot paper to bring unlawfully impaired to another person for submission. Similarly, the Ninth Circle ruled against Arizona’s policy outside of the constituency that provisional ballot papers do not need to be counted personally if the voter – even inadvertently and in election campaigns for which they are legally entitled to vote – casts the ballot outside of their constituency in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Following the statement from the Ninth Circle, the Arizona Attorney General appealed to the US Supreme Court on April 27, 2020 to undermine the safeguards guaranteed by the voting rights law.
In the Amicus Brief, the coalition claims, among other things:
- Contrary to the position of the Arizona Attorney General, electoral laws that appear generally applicable and racially neutral can actually violate the Suffrage Act and result in a discriminatory denial or restriction of the right to vote.
- Widespread appeal procedures to determine whether there has been a violation of the Voting Rights Act carefully limit statutory liability to those electoral rules that actually deny people the right to vote. and
- The test of the ninth circle under the Voting Rights Act does not raise any constitutional questions as it prevents and discourages unconstitutional behavior.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting the voting rights of people in California and across the country. Last month, Attorney General Becerra joined an amicus letter against a final attempt to illegally reverse the results of the presidential election. In October, Attorney General Becerra joined an amicus letter in support of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s decision to issue a consent decree extending the deadline for postal ballots to be received in Minnesota. Earlier this month, Attorney General Becerra – along with the Secretary of State – sent a cease and desist letter to the California Republican Party to end unauthorized ballot boxes. He also joined an amicus letter to help email challenged aspects of Mississippi state’s voting regulations that threatened to expel voters who wanted to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. In August, the attorney general filed an amicus brief pushing back a Florida law that sought to withdraw the right to vote granted under a previous offender disenfranchisement law.
In filing the Amicus Letter, Attorney General Becerra joins attorneys general of the District of Columbia, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
You can find a copy of the Amicus Brief here.
Source: CA. DOJ