Voter Suppression

Appeals Court Blocks Proof of Citizenship Requirements

Written by SK Ashby

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. has blocked a proof-of-citizenship requirement added to federal voter registration forms in three states that was unilaterally approved by a single member of the Election Assistance Commission.

The Fourth Circuit issued an injunction against the requirement and stated that Election Assistance Commission executive director Brian Newby exceeded his authority and may have violated federal law by approving the requirement over the objections of his colleagues.

"If Congress intended to give the states the power to decide what information the Federal Form contains, then it would have had little reason to include this separate permission for states to use their own forms," the opinion said. [...]

"An agency should not be allowed to claim that the confusion resulting from its own improper action weighs against an injunction against that action. The
harm to the public interest as a result of confusion from reinstatement of the prior Federal Form is, in any event, far outweighed by the countervailing harms that would flow from the court’s refusal to enjoin the Newby Decisions," the decision said.

The requirement, which was sought by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the author of "Papers Please" anti-immigration law, has been blocked in Kansas, Georgia, and Alabama.

Newby apparently worked under Kris Kobach in Kansas, making his initial approval of the requirement all the more dubious.

This would be a good time to remind everyone that Senate Republicans are holding a Supreme Court seat open for Donald Trump to fill.