So Kobach sued, in Kobach v. U.S. Election Assistance Commission, to force the federal government to include proof of citizenship requirements on its forms registering voters in Kansas and Arizona. State law, after all, is what defines election eligibility, not federal law, apart from a few exceptions, such as forbidding discrimination and allowing 18-year-olds to vote.
Arizona previously tried to require proof of citizenship in voting registration, but the Supreme Court struck down Arizona's prior attempt. This time, however, Arizona and Kansas did what the Supreme Court invited them to do: add the document requirement on the printed federal voter registration form.
In ruling for the states, the federal court holds that "Congress has not preempted state laws requiring proof of citizenship through the National Voter Registration Act" and states have the power to require proof because the "Constitution gives each state exclusive authority to determine the qualifications of voters for state and federal elections."
This splendid new decision by federal Judge Eric F. Melgren explains, "Because the Constitution gives the states exclusive authority to set voter qualifications under the Qualifications Clause, and because no clear congressional enactment attempts to preempt this authority," it is OK for the states to decide that "a mere oath is not sufficient" for prospective voters to prove they're citizens.
The judge then ordered the federal EAC "to add the language requested by Arizona and Kansas to the state-specific instructions on the federal mail voter registration form, effective immediately." The words "effective immediately" are particularly gratifying because they order the Obama administration to comply right now, before the 2014 elections.
Congratulations to Kobach for his persistence in pursuing honest elections. That's the job of state secretaries of state.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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