Wednesday, March 20, 2024

D.C. District Says Voters Lack Standing to Challenge Noncitizen Voting

Judge Amy Berman Jackson (D.D.C.) ruled today that a group of voters in D.C. lacked standing to challenge a D.C. law that allows noncitizens to vote in local, but not national, elections. The court said that plaintiffs lacked a particularized injury:

In sum, plaintiffs have not alleged that they have personally been subjected to any sort of disadvantage as individual voters by virtue of the fact that noncitizens are permitted to vote, too. They may object as a matter of policy to the fact that immigrants get to vote at all, but their votes will not receive less weight or be treated differently than noncitizens' votes; they are not losing representation in any legislative body; nor have citizens as a group been discriminatorily gerrymandered, "packed," or "cracked" to divide, concentrate, or devalue their votes. At bottom, they are simply raising a generalized grievance which is insufficient to confer standing.

Federal law prohibits noncitizens from voting in federal elections. According to Ballotpedia, as of March 2024, seven states prohibit noncitizens from voting in state and local elections (Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Ohio), and D.C. and municipalities in three states (California, Maryland, and Vermont) allow noncitizens to vote.

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