Cruz will file immigration amendment allowing states to require proof of citizenship for voter registration

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will propose an amendment to the comprehensive immigration reform bill that would allow states to require ID before registering voters, after a Supreme Court announced a decision Monday striking down an Arizona law that required that people show proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

“I’ll file amendment to immigration bill that permits states to require ID before registering voters & close this hole in fed statutory law,” Cruz tweeted Monday afternoon.

Monday morning, the Supreme Court announced a 7-2 decision on Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona knocking down the state’s law that officials must require proof of citizenship before registering someone as a voter. Critics of the law said that it discouraged Latinos and Native Americans from registering to vote.

The court’s ruling, with the majority opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, said that federal law, specifically the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, trumped state law. The federal law requires that states “accept and use” a federal voter registration form, which requires that individuals declare citizenship. The Arizona law said that without accompanying proof of citizenship, officials should not accept that form.

According to SCOTUSblog, Scalia left room for the state to enact the law again if it received permission from federal officials to require proof of citizenship.

The Senate is currently debating the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform plan.

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