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Thu Jan 11, 2018, 07:09 AM

Justices appear split on Ohio voter-purge case

WASHINGTON — Under a withering attack from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Ohio Solicitor Eric Murphy defended the state’s system to remove voters from the rolls, insisting that “nobody is removed solely by failure to vote.”

In oral arguments Wednesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, Sotomayor and Murphy engaged in a sharp debate over whether Ohio violates a 1993 federal law when it purges otherwise-eligible residents from the voter rolls if they fail to vote or respond to notices from the county board of elections during a six-year span.

Although Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed misgivings about the Ohio law, Sotomayor dominated the one-hour argument with her contention that Ohio’s system unfairly disenfranchises minorities because they tend not to vote as often.

Pointing out Americans have the constitutional right not to vote, Sotomayor asked Murphy how Ohio could read the 1993 law “to begin a process of disenfranchising ... with no independent evidence whatsoever that the person has moved?”

Read more: http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180110/justices-appear-split-on-ohio-voter-purge-case

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