The United States Supreme Court has upheld Arizona election laws that activists claim make it more difficult for minorities to vote, according to NBC News.
In a 6-3 decision, the nation’s high court ruled that challengers to the battleground state’s election laws were incorrect in their assertion that the laws were in violation of the 1965 Voting Rights act.
According to election law experts cited by NBC, this ruling will make it more difficult for minority groups to challenge voting laws in the future.
“This significantly dilutes the Voting Rights Act,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. “Minority groups will now have to meet a much higher standard beyond showing that a change presents a burden to voting. It puts a thumb on the scale for the states.”
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion with the five other Republican-appointed justices signing onto his statement that asserted the law requires “equal openness” to the voting process.
“Mere inconvenience cannot be enough to demonstrate a violation” of the law, Alito wrote going on to explain that change to voting laws might impact minority and non minority groups differently.
“…the mere fact there is some disparity in impact does not necessarily mean that a system is not equally open or does not give everyone an equal opportunity to vote.”
Justice Elena Kagan wrote the dissent saying that the decision made by the majority undermined the Voting Rights Act, which she called “a statute that stands as a monument to America’s greatness and protects against its basest impulses.” She was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.
President Joe Biden also weighed in on the decision and signaled what the left might do to change the court’s decision saying he was “deeply disappointed” and that he felt the court’s decision, “harmful as it is, does not limit Congress’ ability to repair the damage done today: it puts the burden back on Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act to its intended strength.”