|| Arizona ballot initiative petition I-03-2004, which became Proposition 200, the “Arizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act” was approved overwhelmingly by Arizona voters in November 2002. Proposition 200 denies public benefits to illegal aliens and requires proof positive of citizenship for those seeking to vote. A challenge to the benefit provisions of Proposition 200 by the ACLU and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) was dismissed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In accordance with Proposition 200, the official Arizona voter registration form provides that “A complete voter registration form must also contain proof of citizenship or the form will be rejected.”
On May 9, 2006, several civil rights and voter adequacy groups filed suit challenging the voter registration and identification provisions, such as that requiring photo identification, of Proposition 200. On June 20, 2006, Randy Pullen and Yes on Proposition 200 moved to intervene in the case (D.Ariz. No. 06cv1268). On August 4, 2006, the motion was denied.
On August 11, 2006, Randy Pullen and Yes on Proposition 200 appealed the denial of their motion to intervene.
On September 11, 2006, the district court denied the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction against the voter ID provisions. On September 11, 2006, the Gonzalez plaintiffs appealed the denial of their motion for preliminary injunction, and on September 12, 2006, the Inter Tribal plaintiffs appealed the denial of their motion for preliminary injunction. On October 5, 2006, the Ninth Circuit enjoined application of Proposition 200; however, on October 20, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the decision and remanded the case for further proceedings.
On November 24, 2006, Randy Pullen and Yes on Proposition 200 filed their opening brief. On December 21, 2006, the plaintiffs filed their response. On December 29, 2006, Mr. Pullen and Yes on Proposition 200 filed an amicus curiae brief, and on January 5, 2007, they filed their reply.
On April 20, 2007, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court's denial of Yes on Prop. 200's motion to intervene and Plaintiffs' motions for preliminary injunction and remanded the case to the District Court for a trial on the merits.
A six-day trial was held beginning on July 29, 2008. On August 20, 2008, the District Court upheld the voter ID provisions of Proposition 200 and dismissed the plaintiffs' complaint.
On September 16, 2008, a notice of appeal was filed by Bernie Abeytia, Arizona Hispanic Community Forum, Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc., Friendly House, Jesus Gonzalez, Debbie Lopez, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, Valle Del Sol, and Project Vote. On September 19, 2008, a notice of appeal was filed by Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Arizona Advocacy Network, Steve M. Gallardo, Hopi Tribe, League of United Late American Citizens Arizona, and League of Women Voters of Arizona. Opening briefs were filed during January 2009. MSLF filed an amicus brief in support of Defendant-Appellees on February 11, 2009.
Oral arguments were held on October 20, 2009, at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The panel consists of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, II, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, and Judge Sandra S. Ikuta. On October 26, 2010, the Ninth Circuit panel overturned part of the district court's decision and held that federal law regarding voter registration overrules Proposition 200's provisions. The panel upheld other provisions of Proposition 200, the Ninth Circuit reversed course from its April 20, 2007 decision and ruled that the relevant portions of Proposition 200 were preempted by federal law.
On November 16, 2010, Arizona filed a petition for rehearing en banc. On November 23, 2010, MSLF urged the Ninth Circuit to rehear the case en banc. On January 31, 2011, the plaintiffs filed an opposition to the petition for rehearing en banc. On April 27, 2011, the Ninth Circuit granted the petition for rehearing en banc. On June 16, 2011, MSLF filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Proposition 200. An en banc Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments on June 21, 2011.
On April 17, 2012, an en banc Ninth Circuit held that Proposition 200 did not violate the Equal Protection Clause or the Voting Rights Act but did conflict with federal law.