ADL Files Amicus Brief Urging The Supreme Court to Strike Down Law Requiring Proof of Citizenship to Register to Vote

New York, NY, January 22, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the United States Supreme Court to reject an Arizona law requiring would-be voters to provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.

ADL has filed a brief, together with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, arguing that the National Voter Registration Act represented an important step towards universal voting rights, and that Proposition 200, an Arizona law requiring potential voters to provide proof of citizenship to register, is a step backwards that seeks to disenfranchise Latino voters.

“We are most concerned with the law’s discriminatory impact on voters who do not have and cannot easily obtain the documents required to prove citizenship,” said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director. “The Arizona law undermines the National Voter Registration Act and we seek to eliminate the discriminatory barriers to full civic participation.”

ADL’s brief documents a pattern in United States history characterized by an expansion of the right to vote followed by attempts to disenfranchise minority voters. The Arizona case focuses on the tension between federal and state authority over elections and the state laws' apparent discriminatory effects.

“Voter ID laws put a damper on fostering greater political engagement and equality across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups of eligible voters. We believe that this is an important case for other election law issues as well,” said Ms. Lauter.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on March 18.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.