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Court Upholds Washington, D.C. Noncitizen Voting Law Despite Right-Wing Challenge

Voting Rights (Credits: League of Women Voters)

Today, a federal court dismissed a challenge to a Washington, D.C. law that permits noncitizen residents to vote in local elections.

The lawsuit, filed by a right-wing legal group on behalf of voters, contested the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022, which grants voting rights to noncitizen residents in district races for mayor, council, attorney general, advisory neighborhood commissioners, and more.

Voters (Credits: CalMatters)

The plaintiffs argued that the law diluted the votes of U.S. citizens, infringed on their fundamental right to vote, and unlawfully discriminated against citizens living in D.C. They also contended that it violated their constitutional right to citizen self-government by allowing noncitizens to vote and hold public office.

However, the court dismissed the case, ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the law. The court determined that the plaintiffs did not demonstrate any personal disadvantage as individual voters due to noncitizens being permitted to vote.

Voting as an American (Credits: CNN)

The opinion emphasized that citizens’ votes would not be treated differently from noncitizens’ votes, nor would citizens lose representation in any legislative body.

While the plaintiffs may object to the law as a policy matter, the court concluded that their generalized grievance was insufficient to confer standing.

This decision upholds the voting rights of Washington, D.C., noncitizen residents, allowing them to continue participating in local elections and ensuring their voices are heard.

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