DOJ contradicts federal law with lawsuit against Arizona citizenship voter law

"It should be the policy of every government everywhere that only citizens can vote in their elections," Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said.

Updated: July 6, 2022 - 11:27pm

The Department of Justice is planning to sue Arizona over its law requiring voters to prove their U.S. citizenship, contrary to federal law.

Arizona House Bill 2492, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) in March, requires voters to provide proof of citizenship to vote in the state.

In a letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, the DOJ claims the law violates both the National Voting Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to the DOJ, the Arizona law violates the NVRA because the federal law "requires Arizona to 'accept and use' the Federal Form, a voter registration form prescribed by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission pursuant to federal law, to register qualified voters for all elections for federal office."

The DOJ also claims the Arizona law violates the "Materiality Provision" of the Civil Rights Act, which provides that "No person acting under color of law shall ... deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election."

"It's another round of Brnovich v. Biden as his DOJ continues its attempts to undermine our election integrity laws," Brnovich responded to the lawsuit on Twitter. "I will see you in court. Again."

In a statement on Tuesday, DOJ Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said: "Arizona has passed a law that turns the clock back on progress by imposing unlawful and unnecessary requirements that would block eligible voters from the registration rolls for certain federal elections. The Justice Department will continue to use every available tool to protect all Americans' right to vote and to ensure that their voices are heard."

HB 2492 is "a very common sense measure," Brnovich said Wednesday in an interview on the "Just the News, Not Noise" TV show.

"[I]t should be the policy of every government everywhere that only citizens can vote in their elections," Brnovich told cohosts John Solomon and Amanda Head. "And so, it's head-scratching and puzzling to someone like me, knowing what's happened in the past, we want to make sure everyone has integrity or confidence in the electoral process.

"And so, while the Biden administration's Department of Justice literally is letting people — millions of people — illegally enter our country, now they want to tell Arizona, 'You can't enact common sense measures to make sure the citizens vote in your election.' So it's absolutely crazy."

Former acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf told the "Just the News, Not Noise" on Tuesday he believes Arizona's law "is obviously a very reasonable approach."

"We all know that to vote federally, in federal elections, obviously, you need to be a United States citizen," said Wolf. "So you need to be able to verify that. This is not an extreme position, as though, I'm sure, the Department of Justice and others would have you believe. This is something that's fairly common, that should be done, particularly when we talk about federal elections."

The DOJ move against the citizenship qualification is "another effort by this administration to put Americans last, and to put migrants and those here illegally in the country first," Wolf added. "And I think most Americans, again, kind of throw their hands up and say, 'What's going on with the current state and the current approach of this administration?'"

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) also reacted to the DOJ's lawsuit. "DOJ doesn't think you should prove that you're an American to vote in an American election," he tweeted. "DOJ is suing Arizona over proof of citizenship requirements. Unbelievable."

Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, told Fox News on Wednesday that the federal law regarding citizens voting "practically speaking, can be ignored" because "you don't have to prove your citizenship in any reasonable way." He added that Arizona is trying to change that in the state and that the federal government could close that loophole by changing its voter registration form.

Phill Kline, director of the Amistad Project, told the John Solomon Reports podcast in a forthcoming episode that the Biden DOJ is "most certainly" interfering with the will of the Arizona Legislature.

"And they're doing it by interpreting congressional legislation, and where Congress has stepped in and tried to codify the manner in which ... identification of citizenship might occur," he said. "So, if they're successful, it's only because of actions of Congress that would limit what state legislatures would do, not because the Constitution says you cannot engage in an effort to identify the legitimacy of the voter's identification as a citizen."