On April 27, the 9th circuit agree to a rehearing en banc in Gonzalez v State of Arizona, 08-17094. This is the case in which the original panel in the 9th circuit had ruled 2-1 that the federal government’s “Motor Voter Law” precludes states from requiring voters to attach proof of citizenship when they register to vote. The federal law required states to recognize postcard registration forms, unless that state has election-day registration. Arizona’s law, requiring naturalized citizens to attach a copy of their naturalization certificate, seems by many to defeat the purpose of the postcard registration forms, which is to make it easy to register to vote.
The original 9th circuit panel include retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Sometimes retired U.S. Supreme Court justices sit in panels of lower courts. Thanks to Howard Bashman’s How Appealing blog for this news.