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Statement from Governor Jan Brewer Nullification of Outdated Voting Provision a Win for Arizona Sovereignty


Location: Phoenix, AZ

"With its ruling today on the Voting Rights Act, the High Court has dealt a victory for states' rights and sovereignty -- releasing Arizona from a nearly 40-year federal stranglehold over our voting system. The Chief Justice, writing on behalf of the majority, reiterated this important point in today's ruling. He said, "the Framers of the Constitution intended the States to keep for themselves, as provided in the Tenth Amendment, the power to regulate elections.'

"The original voting rights measure was implemented in 1965 as a buffer against discriminatory voting practices in states where systemic racism was historically common. In 1975, the act was amended to include jurisdictions with a prevalent "language minority" population that had not provided bilingual ballots by 1972. Despite Arizona's adoption of bilingual ballots in 1974, the law's retroactive application has trapped Arizona under the thumb of the federal government for almost four decades -- with no viable process for the state's voting laws to be released from federal scrutiny.

"Today's ruling provides relief for the State of Arizona. Even if Congress enacts a new statute, it is unlikely Arizona would be mandated to continue to seek federal approval for even the most routine changes to our election procedures. Simply put, decisions that affect states should be left to states. I am grateful to the High Court for ruling on the side of sovereignty and federal restraint."

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