On Thursday, responding to the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to uphold two Arizona voting provisions, including the requirement for election officials to throw out an entire ballot if it was cast at the wrong precinct and making it a felony to collect and deliver another person’s ballot (ballot harvesting), President Biden hurled charges that the Supreme Court had “now done severe damage to two of the most important provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” while using it as a pretext for continuing “the fight for the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.”
The Democratic National Committee had challenged both of the provisions in 2016, saying they violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. They succeeded in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, but the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit’s decision on Thursday.
Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, ruled that how much was affected by a voting rule was “highly relevant,” opining, “After all, every voting rule imposes a burden of some sort.” He pointed out that the desire to bar voter fraud is a “strong and entirely legitimate state interest.”
Biden complained, “While this broad assault against voting rights is sadly not unprecedented, it is taking on new forms. It is no longer just about a fight over who gets to vote and making it easier for eligible voters to vote. It is about who gets to count the vote and whether your vote counts at all. … Today’s decision also makes it all the more imperative to continue the fight for the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore and expand voting protections. The Court’s decision, harmful as it is, does not limit Congress’ ability to repair the damage done today: it puts the burden back on Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act to its intended strength.”
He concluded, “Democracy is on the line. We can do this together.”
Carrie Severino, the president of Judicial Network, fired back, “This is cynical political theater from Joe Biden—his administration’s own lawyers confirmed to the Supreme Court that Arizona’s laws did not violate the Voting Rights Act and Arizona should win this case.”
This is cynical political theater from Joe Biden—his administration’s own lawyers confirmed to the Supreme Court that Arizona’s laws did not violate the Voting Rights Act and Arizona should win this case. https://t.co/AOAXlHYtZo pic.twitter.com/Alr5gqkhdE
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) July 1, 2021
Iowa Law School professor Andy Grewal: “Am I losing my mind? The Biden Administration told SCOTUS that they thought the AZ laws were constitutional.”
Am I losing my mind? The Biden Administration told SCOTUS that they thought the AZ laws were constitutional. https://t.co/QZhLmXtVXy
— Andy Grewal (@AndyGrewal) July 1, 2021
Former Virginia Attorney General & Acting Deputy Sect of the Department of Homeland SecurityKen Cuccinelli pointed out, “Hey, @JoeBiden, your own #DOJ AGREED that the AZ laws didn’t discriminate in Feb, but only said they would reach that decision a different way!”
— Ken Cuccinelli (@KenCuccinelli) July 1, 2021
Andrew Follett, the senior analyst for the Club 4 Growth, reacted, “Biden’s own lawyers disagree with him… But because he’s terrified of Twitter Libs, he’s going all “Mr. Roberts has made his decision, now let him enforce it” in public. What a sad and weak old man.”
Biden's own lawyers disagree with him…
But because he's terrified of Twitter Libs, he's going all "Mr. Roberts has made his decision, now let him enforce it" in public.
What a sad and weak old man. https://t.co/DuaiHa4BD4
— Andrew Follett (@AndrewCFollett) July 1, 2021
GOP operative Matt Whitlock, “A good reminder of how bad @VP is at this. Kamala (making a serious face): This will ‘undoubtedly restrict the right to vote.’ Biden administration lawyers: ‘no.. it won’t.'”
A good reminder of how bad @VP is at this.
Kamala (making a serious face): This will "undoubtedly restrict the right to vote."
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) July 1, 2021
The rhetoric around these voting rights arguments is so dishonest.
Here is the letter from the Biden administration where they conceded that they do not "disagree with the conclusion … that neither Arizona measure violates Section 2's results test": https://t.co/xC2ba1pt87 https://t.co/jEzT7e7Hwo
— AG (@AGHamilton29) July 1, 2021
The Daily Wire noted on Thursday:
The case … will likely have consequences for the Department of Justice’s lawsuit in Georgia, which, as the Daily Wire reported, “alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”
Those laws in Georgia mandate that a voter must be in line to vote by the official poll closing time of 7 pm, and restrict electioneering at the polls. Because those laws do not necessarily abridge the right to vote for eligible and registered Georgia voters, the DOJ’s lawsuit may run afoul of Thursday’s ruling.