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Court Case
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2021

Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee

Brnovich v. DNC is one of the Supreme Court’s most significant — and divisive — voting rights cases in recent years.

Slides

In Brnovich v. DNC, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) argued that Arizona’s current out-of-precinct policy and ban on third-party collectors, sometimes called ballot harvesting, was unconstitutional. The DNC claimed both policies violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act as they have underlying consequences that disadvantage voters of color. After the Ninth Circuit ruled against the state’s policies, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich appealed to the Supreme Court. In a 6-3 decision, the Court overturned the Ninth Circuit and ruled for Brnovich. In his opinion, Justice Samuel Alito stated that the two policies were not adopted for discriminatory purposes and only had minor impacts on voters of color. Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, arguing that the conservative majority’s interpretation of Section 2 of the VRA substantially undermines its intended purpose and weakens voting rights more broadly.