By Corinne Murdock |
On Thursday, three GOP groups intervened in a lawsuit challenging Arizona’s new law requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.
The Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the Republican Party of Arizona (RPAZ), the Mohave County Republican Central Committee, and the Gila County Republican Committee intervened to challenge the plaintiffs: two activist organizations advocating for progressive policies, Mi Familia Vota and Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA).
In their motion to intervene, the GOP groups asserted that voter ID preserved election integrity.
“[T]he question for this Court is not whether Movants have an interest in maintaining an ‘unconstitutional’ law. The question is whether Movants have an interest in preventing a federal court from enjoining a valid law that increases voter confidence and promotes election integrity,” read their motion.
Both Mi Familia Vota and LUCHA received help from one of the top lawyers for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign: Russiagate hoax lawyer Marc Elias.
In a press release, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel defended the new Arizona law as common-sense policy. She added that the law would hold Democrats accountable for their “underhanded election tactic” of rejecting voter ID.
“American elections should be decided by American citizens: full stop. When it comes to non-citizens voting, Democrats are trying to change the rules of the game because their radical ideas won’t win on an even playing field,” said McDaniel.
Democrats argued that requiring proof of citizenship in order to vote was unconstitutional and against federal law.
However, legal experts like former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew Gould clarified that the Constitution never empowered non-citizens with the right to vote. Gould told Arizona Daily Independent that the Constitution actually excludes non-citizens.
“Of course, non-citizens have never had a right to vote under the Constitution, and so it is absurd to argue that HB2492 takes away a legal, constitutional right to vote from anyone,” said Gould. “Requiring proof of citizenship to vote is a neutral, reasonable, non-discriminatory restriction that operates to exclude one group: non-citizens.”
If the new law withstands legal challenges, it wouldn’t go into effect until 2023.