Natalie Behring/Zuma

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

At issue in the Supreme Court today was whether restrictive voting laws in Arizona violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act. And a Republican Party lawyer defending the restrictions couldn’t have made his intentions clearer.

Tuesday’s oral arguments in two cases—Brnovich v. DNC and Arizona Republican Party v. DNC—concerned the legality of “ballot harvesting,” a practice in which community activists collect ballots to boost voter turnout. The arguments also discussed an Arizona law that disqualified ballots cast in the wrong precinct. There’s no evidence of the voting fraud that these laws purport to limit, and voting rights activists say that the laws disproportionately limit Black, Latino, and Native American voters’ access to the polls.

So Justice Amy Coney Barrett had a simple question for the lawyer defending the GOP-backed laws: “What’s the interest of the Arizona RNC here in keeping, say, the out-of-precinct ballot disqualification rules on the books?”

“Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats,” the lawyer, Michael Carvin, responded. “Politics is a zero-sum game.”

Republicans’ intentions couldn’t be any clearer. It’s not about reducing fraud. It’s about keeping minorities from voting for Democrats.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate