from Daniel Horowitz at Conservative Review:
Horowitz: States can declare martial law on citizens but can’t stop noncitizens from voting
A broken clock is right twice a day, but our judiciary is always wrong, as it has perfectly twisted fundamental rights inside out and has flipped state and federal powers upside down.
We have finally discovered a power that the courts feel a state does not have. At a time when states are violating our rights to life, liberty, and property, restricting free movement, regulating interstate commerce and travel, and forming interstate compacts – all against the most basic foundations of our Constitution – the courts have finally stepped in to limit state powers. A federal court has ruled states cannot … ask for proof of citizenship to vote.
On Wednesday, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Kansas cannot require proof of citizenship at voter registration to ensure that noncitizens don’t vote, pursuant to a law duly passed by the state legislature in 2011. The court reiterated a lower court ruling that somehow this violates the phantom Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and that the state interest does “not justify the burden imposed on the right to vote.” The two judges (the third passed away) concocted their own law that states must first “show that a substantial number of noncitizens registered to vote” before enacting such measures.
To be clear, Kansas was not stripping the vote from anyone eligible to vote and merely required the most basic verification in order to protect the sovereignty of all citizens, as is required for so many other public or private benefits. States have full control over voter qualifications, according to the Constitution, voting is not quite an inalienable right, and the state is enacting the most narrowly tailored act to achieve the vital interest of protecting the franchise.
There is no greater interest in protecting the vote than ensuring noncitizens aren’t voting. This is not some far-flung fear, but a prima facie concern. We have a record level of immigrants in this country, and the motor-voter laws seamlessly register anyone who signs up for a driver’s license with nothing more than a voluntary honor system for immigrants to self-report. If anything, noncitizens are often harmed by weak verification, because some unwittingly sign up to vote and then are subject to deportation for violating federal law.
Yet now an unelected federal judge can crush a basic state power. Keep in mind, it’s insane to suggest that requiring proof of citizenship is a burden, because, by definition, anyone who is a citizen has a birth certificate. This is even less of a “burden” than requiring photo ID at the polls. Although states provide ID for free, there is theoretically a small percentage of people who don’t have ID. However, every citizen has a birth certificate. If they can produce one, there is no burden, and if they are not a citizen, how can they get standing to sue?