State of Arizona

Arizona Citizenship Requirement Challenge (Mi Familia Vota)

Mi Familia Vota v. Fontes

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Mi Familia Vota and Voto Latino challenging Arizona’s voter suppression law, House Bill 2492. The law creates a new restrictive proof of citizenship requirements for voters. Before the passage of H.B. 2492, Arizonans who registered to vote using state forms had to provide proof of citizenship, but did not have to do so when using federal forms under the National Voter Registration Act. Under H.B. 2492, new voters registering with federal forms must provide proof of citizenship documentation if they want to vote in presidential elections or vote early by mail for any office. Additionally, voters who registered when there was not a proof of citizenship requirement must provide citizenship documentation to vote in presidential elections. The law also empowers the Arizona attorney general’s office to investigate voters with missing citizenship statuses. The lawsuit argues that H.B. 2492 violates the First and 14th Amendments by severely burdening the right to vote and potentially disenfranchising Arizona voters and asks the court to block the law.

The case was consolidated with Living United for Change in Arizona v. Hobbs, United States v. Arizona, Poder Latinx v. Hobbs, Democratic National Committee v. Hobbs, AZ AANHPI for Equity Coalition v. Hobbs , Promise Arizona v. Hobbs and Tohono O’odham Nation v. Brnovich.

Because of consolidation, this lawsuit also challenges another voter suppression law, House Bill 2243, which requires county recorders to cancel a voter’s registration if they receive information that a voter is not qualified to vote or if the county officials have a “reason to believe” that a voter is not a U.S. citizen. On Sept. 8, 2022, a federal court temporarily blocked the implementation of Arizona H.B. 2243 by approving an agreement between the AZ AANHPI for Equity Coalition and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D). On Sept. 14, 2023, the court struck down key provisions of H.B. 2492.

On Feb. 29, 2024, a federal court struck down some provisions of H.B. 2492 and 2243.

Courtroom Updates

On Dec. 15, a federal judge heard oral argument regarding the state of Arizona’s motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaints challenging H.B. 2492 and H.B. 2243 for violating the 14th and 15th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the National Voter Registration Act and the Materiality Provision of the Civil Rights Act. During the argument, the attorneys for the numerous sets of plaintiffs as well the defendants addressed a variety of legal issues, including but not limited to whether the private plaintiffs (meaning all the plaintiffs besides the United States) possessed various types of standing (meaning the capacity to sue), whether the plaintiffs’ claims were ripe and whether the burden that the challenged laws allegedly impose on voters outweighs Arizona’s interest in maintaining “voter integrity” and “preventing voter fraud” as the defendants purport the laws were designed to do. Additionally, the arguments centered on whether the challenged laws were discriminatory to the extent that certain provisions — namely the documentary proof of citizenship requirement in H.B. 2492 and the “reason to believe” provision in H.B. 2243 — disparately impact minority voters such as naturalized citizens and native voters. The judge will ultimately decide whether to dismiss some, all or none of the plaintiffs’ claims, after which the lawsuit will either be tossed out or move forward.

Case Documents

Case Documents (9th U.s. Circuit court of appeals)

Case Documents (U.S. Supreme Court)

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