Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the 7-2 opinion in the Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona case Monday which invalidated the state law requiring voters that prove they were citizens before registering. Such “proof of citizenship” requirements can suppress the vote by making it far more difficult for people to get registered. Aside from Arizona, four other states currently require proof of citizenship to vote, including Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, and Tennessee.
However, even Scalia’s jurisprudence is apparently too liberal for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who announced Monday afternoon that he will file a bill overturning the decision. As The Hill reports, Cruz will file an amendment to the Senate immigration bill that would reverse the decision and allow states to require proof of citizenship in order to register and vote.
Though this amendment is highly unlikely to pass, particularly on the heels of the Supreme Court decision, it would have disastrous consequences if it were to sneak through. At least 11 percent of all Americans don’t have a photo ID. Among Latinos the number rises to 1 in 5, and among African Americans it’s 1 in 4. Requiring citizens to show their birth certificate or a photo ID before allowing them to vote would result in widespread disenfranchisement, particularly among minorities.