Nightly News   |  June 17, 2013

SCOTUS strikes down Arizona voter law requiring citizenship proof

The Arizona law was intended to prevent voter fraud, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it violates the 20-year-old Motor Voter law. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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>>> back in this country, a major decision at the supreme court today in a closely watched case that justices struck down, an arizona low prioraw required people to show i.d. before being allowed to vote.

>> reporter: ' said the law intended to cut down on voter fraud , but the court says it violates the motor voter law , which allows people to register by mail to vote in federal elections . they check a box to indicate u.s. citizenship . but arizona required some kind of document to prove it. civil rights groups said it was trying to make it harder for legal immigrants to vote. a vote of 7-2 with thomas and al alito dissenting. they said what arizona did was inconsistent with the requirement to use federal form. the constitution gives congress final word on how federal elections are conducted and how much power the state has to say who gets to vote. it likely dooms similar laws in georgia, alabama, and kansas. we'll get decisions again on thursday, brian, with big cases of this term still to come.

>> pete williams covering at the court tonight.