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Brnovich Appears Before SCOTUS In Voting Rights Case

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday morning. The Court will decide whether two of Arizona’s voting restrictions violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Brnovich wants the court to uphold the state’s ban on ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting. One of those bans dropping off an early ballot for someone outside your immediate family, and the other requires ballots to be discarded if the person votes from the wrong precinct. Critics of the policies say they’re discriminatory toward minority voters.

During the hearing, Justice Sonia Sotomayor pressed Brnovich about his response to an election law test, which looks at how a voting law might cause disparities and why the state put it in place.

Sotomayor: “Are you arguing that the reason you did something is not part of that ?”
Brnovich: “Well, it’s two fold. One is..”
Sotomayor: “Counsel, why is that question so hard to answer? Yes or no? Is the reason why the state has picked a particular practice an important part of the totality of the circumstances test?
Brnovich: “Yes.”

Voting rights activists are also concerned the case will lead other states to pass more restrictive election laws.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.