"We have no authority to second-guess Congress or to decide whether Ohio's Supplemental Process is the ideal method for keeping its voting rolls up to date".
Justice Samuel Alito said for the court that OH is complying with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.
Democrats have accused Republicans of taking steps at the state level, including laws requiring certain types of government-issued identification, meant to suppress the vote of minorities, poor people and others who generally favour Democratic candidates.
"The Supreme Court got this one wrong", according to Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States "The right to vote is not 'use it or lose it.' This decision will fuel the fire of voter suppressors across the country who want to make sure their chosen candidates win reelection, no matter what the voters say".
"With the midterm election season now underway, the court's ruling demands heightened levels of vigilance as we anticipate that officials will read this ruling as a green light for loosely purging the registration rolls in their community", said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Many states over the decades had erected to voting, sometimes targeting black voters.
Nineteen states use voter inactivity in the process of purging their databases, though only a handful make non-voting as central as OH does.
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The Supreme Court majority said OH didn't violate that provision.
"In the state's three largest counties that include Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus, voters have been struck from the rolls in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods at roughly twice the rate as in Republican neighborhoods", Reuters wrote in their report.
The case arose when U.S. Navy veteran Larry Harmon went to his local polling place in OH to vote in 2015. Justice Sonia Sotomayor criticized the ruling in her dissent today, predicting that it could have a disproportionate effect on the poor, the elderly and minorities. Since people tend not to send confirmation notices back to the government, it is not a reliable way to determine whether someone has moved away or not, Breyer added.
Justice Sotomayor, who joined with the liberal justices in dissenting and also wrote a separate dissenting opinion, spoke to that past as well.
The challengers said there are six states that remove voters from their registration lists for failure to vote, but that OH is the most aggressive. Apparently I'm getting better at this Supreme Court prediction stuff! In the appeals court, the Obama administration filed a brief supporting Mr. Harmon.