Captain Rick: The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from Arizona over a its blocked law requiring proof of American citizenship before registering to vote. This law originated from Proposition 200, approved by Arizona voters in 2004, but was later blocked by a 12-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which said that federal law trumps the Arizona requirement. It is anticipated that the Supreme court will consider this case in February 2013.
Federal law allows voters to fill out a mail-in voter registration card and swear that they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it does not require them to show proof of citizenship as Arizona’s 2004 law does. Arizona has its own form and an online system to register when renewing a driver’s license. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling did not affect citizenship requirements using the Arizona forms. The Arizona law also denied some government benefits to illegal immigrants and required Arizonans to show identification before voting. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the voter identification provision and the denial of benefits was not challenged.