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Victory: Supreme Court Protects Voter Registration

The Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council Arizona is a huge victory for voters. It confirms Congress’s power to protect the right to vote and makes registration more accessible.

June 17, 2013

The Supreme Court ruled on Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council Arizona today, upholding Congress’s power to regulate federal elections.

The Brennan Center for Justice released the following statement from Democracy Program Director Wendy Weiser:

“Voters scored a huge victory today. We applaud the Supreme Court for confirming Congress’s power to protect the right to vote in federal elections. Congress recognized that voter registration must be made more accessible when it passed the National Voter Registration Act, and the Court also affirmed that today. But more work remains to be done. In 2012, dozens of states passed laws making it harder to vote, and more voting restrictions have been introduced this year. The Supreme Court is still considering a challenge to the Voting Rights Act, one of our nation’s key voting protections. These threats affect real people. We will continue to work with Congress and state legislators to further upgrade and modernize our voting system.”

At issue in the case was an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals previously ruled that Arizona’s law violates the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, commonly known as Motor Voter. The Supreme Court’s decision today upheld that lower court ruling.

Wendy Weiser and other voting experts are available to comment on how both this case and Shelby County v. Holder affect existing voting laws. The Center released a report last week on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which the Court will also decide on this month. Also see our roundup of new 2013 voting laws, and proposals to fix long lines and modernize voter registration.

The Center’s amicus brief in the Arizona case is available here.

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact Erik Opsal (, 646–292–8356), Jeanine Plant-Chirlin (, 646–292–8322), or Lena Glaser (, 646–292–8342).