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DOJ Changes Legal Position in Arizona Voting Case

THE EPOCH TIMES - Feb 18, 2021 -

The Supreme Court in Washington, on Nov. 5, 2020. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

The Biden administration changed its position on an upcoming Supreme Court appeal dealing with Arizona’s electoral integrity laws, disavowing the previous administration’s interpretation of anti-discrimination provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Although the Biden administration won’t present oral arguments in the case or update a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Trump administration, it signaled to the justices and the public that it’s leaving the door open to adopting a more aggressive interpretation of the statute in the future.

Section 2 of the law forbids voting practices that result “in a denial or abridgment of the right … to vote on account of race or color [or language-minority status],” and provides that such a result “is established” if a jurisdiction’s “political processes … are not equally open” to members of such a group “in that [they] have less opportunity … to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.”

“That text must be construed in light of Section 2’s constitutional context, as an exercise of Congress’s authority to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment’s ban on intentional discrimination,” the Trump administration’s brief filed last year stated.

The filing comes as the litigants prepare to present oral arguments to the Supreme Court in the case on March 2.

The case is two cases that the court consolidated. The first is Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee (DNC). The second is Arizona Republican Party v. DNC. The reach of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is at issue.


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