Fresh off his victory against the federal government in a case involving Kansas and Arizona’s demand that voters using federal voter registration forms provide documentary proof of citizenship before voting, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced a new initiative to require Kansas residents to demonstrate written English proficiency before being allowed to vote.
“Last year the Supreme Court confirmed that states, not the monstrous and tyrannical federal government, get to set “voter qualifications” for voting even in federal elections,” Kobach, a Republican elected official, explained. “That was the basis for the recent ruling requiring the federal government to include Kansas’s demand for citizenship information on voter registration cards. This is simply the next step to assure fairness and uniformity in election administration. Also, if you can’t write in English, you don’t deserve a vote.”
A leading civil rights lawyer, speaking on conditions of anonymity, expressed shock and vowed to fight the new proposed rules. “WTF? The Voting Rights Act banned literacy tests. There’s no way a new English Proficiency test is going to survive,” the lawyer declared. Kobach stated his belief that the Voting Rights Act literacy ban is no longer constitutional. “Congress can pass whatever laws it wants, but as Justice Scalia explained in last year’s Arizona case, in an opinion signed by all the liberal Supreme Court Justices, ‘it would raise serious constitutional doubts if a federal statute precluded a State from obtaining the information necessary to enforce its voter qualifications.’”