A lawyer for the Arizona Republican Party presented a direct reason for his presence to defend the state’s voting restrictions in the Supreme Court on Tuesday: The measures put Democrats at a disadvantage.
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments over Arizona’s voting restrictions in two consolidated cases challenging a state law banning ballot collection and a policy that throws ballots in the wrong constituency. Democrats have filed a lawsuit, claiming the rules discriminate against minorities and violate section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
The case could have big implications outside Arizona if judges create a test on how to assess these voting rights cases under voting rights law.
“What’s in the Arizona RNC’s interest in keeping, say, the off-riding ballot disqualification rules on the books?” Asked Judge Amy Coney Barrett, referring to legal status.
“Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage compared to Democrats,” said Michael Carvin, the lawyer who defends state restrictions. “Politics is zero sum game. And every extra vote they get through an illegal interpretation of section 2 hurts us, that’s the difference between winning a 50-49 election and losing a 51-50 election. “
The response was a remarkable moment at a pivotal time for voting rights: State Republicans brought forward a series of restrictive voting bills in the wake of the loss of former President Donald Trump and the attack of several months against the postal vote. Defenders warned …
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