Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Davis v. CEC (9th Cir. - Dec. 27, 2016)

How many times do you see laws struck down as violating the Fifteenth Amendment?  Heck, when was the last time you even saw such a thing?!  (Or, as a slightly easier question, what's the Fifteenth Amendment in the first place?)

Chief Justice Thomas tells you most of what you need to know in the first paragraph of today's opinion:

"The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands restricts voting in certain elections to individuals of 'Northern Marianas descent.' This appeal presents the question of whether this restriction is race-based and violates the Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. We conclude that it does, and we affirm the judgment of the district court."

The Supreme Court struck down a similarly defective statute in Hawaii in 2000.  The Ninth Circuit does the same thing for the CNMI today.

No race-based disenfranchisements, thank you.