June 17th, 2013
12:40 PM ET

Justices strike down citizenship provision in Arizona voter law

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court on Monday tossed out a provision in Arizona's voter registration law that required proof of citizenship.

The 7-2 majority said the state's voter-approved Proposition 200 interfered with federal law designed to make voter registration easier.

The state called the provision a "sensible precaution" to prevent voter fraud. Civil rights group countered that it added an unconstitutional and burdensome layer of paperwork for tens of thousands of citizens.

Justice Antonin Scalia said the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 "forbids states to demand an applicant submit additional information beyond that required by the federal form."

But in a nod to state authority, Scalia said the federal law "does not prevent states from denying registration based on any information in their possession establishing the applicant's eligibility."

The appeal was a classic federalism dispute, on the often delicate line between conflict and cooperation between state and federal governments over enforcing voting procedures. During last year's election, there were numerous court challenges to state voter identification laws at the polls. The current fight has produced a range of states, lawmakers and advocacy groups on both sides on the gateway issue of registration. The Obama Justice Department opposed the Arizona law, which went beyond what other states have done to ensure integrity in the registration system.


Filed under: History • How we look • Where we live
Opinion: The mariachi singer is more American than his critics
Sebastien De La Cruz sings the national anthem prior to the start of game 4 in the NBA finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat on June 13 in San Antonio, Texas.
June 17th, 2013
10:06 AM ET

Opinion: The mariachi singer is more American than his critics

Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette is a CNN contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Follow him on Twitter: @rubennavarrette.

By Ruben Navarette, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - The scoreboard was clear.

Winner: 11-year-old Sebastien De La Cruz, "El Charro de Oro" (the golden horseman) who became a national story after he sang the national anthem at Game 3 of the NBA playoff series between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat and showed a lot of a talent, heart and class.

Losers: The haters and racists who - displaying a lot of ignorance - hid behind the anonymity of Twitter to spew venom and attack the little guy because they thought that no one dressed in a mariachi outfit was certified American enough to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner."

ere's a sample:

"This lil Mexican snuck in the country like 4 hours ago now he's singing the anthem" - Francois@A2daO

"Who dat lil #Wetback sangin the national anthem at the #Heat game????" - TJ THA DJ@Tj_Tha_Dj

"Can't believe they had the nerve to have a beaner sing the national anthem of AMERICA #smh" - THE_GREAT_WHITE@bdub597

"Is this the American National Anthem or the Mexican Hat Dance? Get this lil kid out of here" - StevenDavid@A1R_STEVEN

"So illegal aliens can sing The National Anthem @ games now?" - Mr.CheckYaDm@DJ_BMONEY

What does it mean to be an American anyway?

Read Ruben Navarette's full column