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Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona

AARP Attorneys Represent Clients Seeking to Strike Down Problematic Voter Registration Law


The case went up and down in the courts, with injunctions preventing portions of Prop 200 from taking effect. While the courts upheld Prop 200’s photo ID voting requirements, a major portion of its voter registration/proof of citizenship rule finally was struck down in October 2010 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a lengthy and considered examination of various federal laws and constitutional provisions addressing voter registration. In a 2-1 decision joined by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (herself a former Arizona state legislator), the Ninth Circuit invalidated a requirement that Arizonans registering to vote by using the Federal Voter Registration Form must present proof of citizenship beyond swearing, under penalty of perjury (a federal crime), that they are U.S. citizens. The court relied on the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which requires state deference to Congressional enactments, such as requirements for the Federal Voter Registration Form. Arizona sought to require additional documentary proof of citizenship. The State appealed to the full Ninth Circuit, which reaffirmed the panel decision.

The state appealed once again and convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case. AARP Foundation Litigation attorneys continue to co-represent the plaintiffs.

What’s at Stake

AARP Foundation Litigation is working to ensure that all eligible voters can freely exercise their constitutional right to participate in the democratic process.

Case Status

Arizona v. Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona is before the U.S. Supreme Court. A decision is expected by the end of June 2013.


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Legal Cases

Find cases in which AFL has advocated in courts nationwide for the rights of older persons, and filed AARP’s amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs that help courts decide precedent-setting cases. The cases within the drop-down categories below are in alphabetical order for ease of searching.

Strengthening Law and Policy through
Legal Advocacy

Our legal advocacy initiatives  - conducted by AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL) - reflect nearly 20 years of work in federal and state courts across the country. Through our efforts, we support the Foundation’s four impact areas: Tackling Senior Hunger, Paving the Way to Stable Income, assuring the adequacy and availability of Safe and Afffordable Housing and Reconnecting People to Families and Communities, and ensure that those 50 and older have a voice in the laws and policies that affect their daily lives.