John Kruzel story from last week:
At issue in the lawsuit are a pair of Arizona voting restrictions that were struck down earlier this year by the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which sparked the GOP petition to the Supreme Court.
In its January ruling siding with Democratic challengers, the appeals court went so far as to conclude that one of the two voting rules under review was intentionally designed to discriminate against people of color. The blistering decision took Arizona to task for its historic practice of burdening the franchise of nonwhite voters.
“For over a century, Arizona has repeatedly targeted its American Indian, Hispanic, and African American citizens, limiting or eliminating their ability to vote and to participate in the political process,” the appeals court wrote.
Minority populations — whom the 9th Circuit Court found were disproportionately harmed in recent elections by the two Arizona policies — tend to vote Democratic.
While the Supreme Court will receive Arizona’s request for an appeal on Wednesday, its decision on whether to take up the case is likely to arrive this fall, perhaps just weeks before Election Day. Denying the appeal would give Democrats momentum heading into the final stretch of what’s expected to be a tight Senate and presidential race in the Grand Canyon State.
Yet so far this election cycle, the conservative-majority court has let voting restrictions stand in Alabama, Florida, Texas and Wisconsin. In a dissent earlier this month, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the court’s more liberal justices, accused the court of engaging in “a trend of condoning disfranchisement