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Coronado v. Napolitano

The Center filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals in support of the plaintiff's challenge to Arizona's statutory provision denying voting rights to individuals with felony convictions. Voting rights are withheld until those individuals have paid any court-ordered fees, fines, or restitution.

Published: February 6, 2009

In Coronado v. Napolitano, the plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, challenged the Arizona statutory provision denying voting rights to individuals with felony convictions until those individuals paid any court-ordered fees, fines, or restitution. Plaintiffs also contested the extension of disenfranchising crimes to those crimes that were not felonies at common law.  Specifically, plaintiffs alleged violations of the 14th and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and various provisions of the Arizona Constitution. After the United States District Court of Arizona ruled in defendants’ favor, the plaintiffs subsequently appealed this decision to the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Brennan Center filed an amicus brief on February 4, 2009 before the Ninth Circuit. The Brennan Center argued that the challenged law functioned as an impermissible poll tax in violation of the 24th Amendment, relying on the Amendment's legislative history, contemporaneous case law interpreting the Amendment, and modern case law and policy arguments.

On May 27, 2010 the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court decision, holding, among other things, that the statute did not violate the 24th Amendment’s bar against poll taxes. The Ninth Circuit consolidated Coronado with Harvey v. Brewer, 605 F.3d 1067 (2010).

 

Brennan Center Brief


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