06.02.20

Senators Lankford, Cruz, Blackburn, Cornyn, Cotton, Inhofe, and Lee Submit Amicus Brief to Supreme Court in Voting Rights Act Case

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Mike Lee (R-UT) submitted a joint amicus brief asking the Supreme Court of the United States to hear the case of DNC v. Hobbs, because the lower court’s decision would jeopardize scores of neutral voting laws that are designed to prevent and deter election fraud.

The case involves challenges to two Arizona election laws, including a law criminalizing ballot-harvesting – a practice that invites voter fraud. The district court upheld these two laws, and so did a Ninth Circuit panel. But the Ninth Circuit took the case en banc and held them both unlawful by adopting an atextual and ahistorical reading of the Voting Rights Act. As the Senators explain in the brief, the Ninth Circuit’s reading was plainly wrong; the Voting Rights Act was never meant to prevent states from passing and enforcing neutral time, place, and manner voting laws to combat voter fraud. The Supreme Court will now determine whether to hear the case. The full text of the amicus brief may be viewed here.

“Balancing voter access with election security is a crucial task that our Founders left almost entirely to the states. Laws that help prevent undue election influence or voter manipulation should be implemented wherever necessary to ensure free and fair elections. We should not accept Russian or domestic election tampering,” said Lankford. “The Voting Rights Act sought to rightfully correct malicious and discriminatory election restrictions around the country, not to interfere with states’ abilities to enact time, place, and manner voting laws that prevent potential fraud. Laws that prevent fraud-prone ballot harvesting help states like Oklahoma protect our elections. The Supreme Court should hear this case and clarify the constitutional limits of the Voting Rights Act.”

 “Since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, enormous progress has been made toward voting equality in the United States. However, what’s at stake in this case is a ruling that would expand the Voting Rights Act well beyond what Congress intended,” Cruz said. “This is simply an attempt by Democrat activists to try to use the Voting Rights Act for their own partisan purposes. The two Arizona laws at the heart of this case do not unlawfully burden voters, and allow Arizona – and other states that have similar laws – to take appropriate steps to prevent voter fraud and enhance election security.”

“Protecting the sanctity of our election system is vital to preserving our democracy. States reserve the right to pass laws that protect citizens from voter fraud and illegal voting coercion tactics. We cannot let Democrats hijack voting laws and push for fraud-ridden practices such as nationwide mail-in voting to suit their partisan objectives,” said Blackburn. “I join my colleagues in asking the Supreme Court to hear this case to ensure that every American’s right to vote is not diluted because of voter fraud.”

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