Justice Alito devastates Dems' arguments in AZ voting rights case Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee

On July 1, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 6-3 decision, ruled that Arizona did not violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act when it required in-person voting to take place in the precinct to which the voter is assigned and limited collection of early-voting ballots to the U.S. Postal Service, election officials, family members, household members, and caregivers.

In overturning a Ninth Circuit en banc decision rejecting Arizona's voting requirements, Justice Sam Alito, for — let it be said — the six justices appointed by Republican presidents, recognized the legitimate interests of a state in preventing fraud and intimidation or pressure on voters.  Justice Alito noted that fraud does not have to be shown before a state can act to take legitimate measures to prevent fraud.  He also indicated that "disparate impact" must be shown to be significant before overturning a state's voting laws.

On the matter of "disparate impact," Justice Alito pointed to the use of statistics to mislead, rather than to inform.  He observed that the Ninth Circuit found that twice as many minority voters cast ballots out of their assigned precincts as non-minority voters, based on 99.5% of nonminority voters compared to 99% of minority voters voting in their home precincts.  Justice Alito indicated that the more accurate picture focuses on the 99% for minority voters, not the difference between 0.5% and 0.0%.  That is to say, in absolute terms, the disparity between 99.5% and 99% is insignificant.  

Justice Alito noted that the dissent would treat any disparity as significant.  He also had some sharp words to say of the dissent by Justice Elena Kagan: 

[T]here is nothing democratic about the dissent's attempt to bring about a wholesale transfer of the authority to set voting rule from the States to the federal courts.

This observation might well be directed at House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Charles E. Schumer, who are pressing for legislation that would federalize elections.

The dissenters, all three appointed by Democrat presidents, would disregard a state's interest in preventing voting fraud, or voter intimidation, and enthrone a federal approach, supported, in reality, by the Democrat majorities in House and Senate, plus the Democrat president.  It is, therefore, difficult to escape the rank partisanship of the dissent in approving Democrat moves to increase, vastly, the numbers of voters who are registered Democrats.

One can expect howls of condemnation to come from zealous Democrat partisans like the New York Times and the Washington Post, which would use misleading statistics to exaggerate voter disparity and would dismiss rules against fraud if fraud has not been shown.  But on that expected argument from the undemocratic left, here is Justice Alito: "Fraud is a real risk that accompanies mail-in voting even if Arizona had the good fortune to avoid it."  He commented, further, "A State doesn't have to wait for fraud to happen."

An observer might be excused for allowing that the Supreme Court's opinion in Brnovich was its way of throwing a sop to Donald J. Trump, conceding that fraud can occur by means of ballot collection, early mail-in voting — and out-of-assigned-precinct voting, with the added concession that mail-in votes just might result from intimidation or pressure on the voter. 

Now imagine the High Court's ruling if Merrick Garland had made it to the Supreme Court and Donald J. Trump had failed to be elected in 2016.  The ruthlessly partisan H.R. 1 and S. 1 would have been pronounced, effectively, by a totalitarian-trending Supreme Court of the United States.    

Some Democrats already are calling for court-packing.  What next?  A move by Pelosi to impeach Justice Alito?

Photo credit: DavidCC BY 2.0 license.

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