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He agrees with the Court’s statutory analysis, but raises further constitutional objections to the challengers’ position. Justice Sotomayor emphasizes purged voters and voter suppression while joining Breyer’s dissent “in full.” She notes that the dissent’s reasoning is also consistent with the NVRA’s purpose to “increase the registration and enhance the participation of eligible voters in federal elections,” and not only to “ensure that accurate and current voter registration rolls are maintained.”Sotomayor summarizes a long history of voter suppression and emphasizes that the statute’s goal is also to increase voting, not simply to remove voter eligibility.According to Thomas, the Voter-Qualifications Clause gives states broad power to set qualifications for elections. In her language, “Ohio’s Supplemental Process reflects precisely the type of purge system that the NVRA was designed to prevent.” She is especially concerned that minorities affected by this law either have to reregister or are denied right to vote.Sotomayor focused on the minority, low-income, disabled, and veteran voters whose voting rights were diminished more than others.The opinion spends little time on the facts of the case.By the time the voter loses her status, she has not voted for six years because of her failure to vote.In contrast, Breyer and the law’s challengers conclude that the failure to vote cannot serve as a trigger for a change of address notification.According to her dissent, amicus statistics show that, under Ohio’s law, African Americans are purged at 10 percent while the number is only four percent for white suburban voters.For Sotomayor, such discrimination does not have to be litigated as a discrimination lawsuit.
At the end she encourages voters to work harder to overcome voting obstacles set for them by their home states.Justice Thomas wrote a separate concurrence, and Justice Sotomayor added her own dissent.The opinions reflect division over how to analyze the right to vote.Alito and Breyer disagreed about how to interpret NVRA and HAVA.Thomas added an argument protecting states’ constitutional rights to set election requirements.
One of the persons who challenged the litigation for restricting his right to vote, veteran Larry Harmon, does not even appear in the opinion.