PHOENIX (Tuesday, May 03, 2011) -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne today announced that the Ninth Circuit has granted en banc review in the case of Gonzales v. Arizona, in which the court recently held that Arizona could not require proof of citizenship of people registering to vote. The previous decision was issued by a three-judge panel. En banc review means the three-judge panel’s decision will be reviewed by an eleven-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit.
Horne will personally argue the case. Oral argument will be scheduled during the week of June 20th.
Horne stated: “Arizona voters, in a referendum, required that those registering to vote show that they are citizens. The three-judge panel held that Arizona’s requirement is preempted by a federal statute that prescribes a voter registration form. However, the same statute specifically states that a state ‘may develop and use a mail voter registration form that meets all of the criteria stated in Section 1973gg-7(b).’ That section allows ‘such identifying information…as is necessary to enable the appropriate state election official to assess the eligibility of the applicant….’ Under federal law, a person must be a U.S. citizen to vote. Therefore, I will argue that the Arizona statute is not preempted by the federal statute. It is a basic right of the citizens of Arizona to be sure that everyone voting is in fact a citizen.”