Supreme Court rejects appeal over North Carolina voter ID law

15 Mai, 2017, 23:53 | Author: Lucrece Courtet

The appeals court found that the law's provisions "target African-Americans with nearly surgical precision" and "impose cures for problems that did not exist", concluding that the Republican-led legislature enacted it "with discriminatory intent". North Carolina was among the first states to adopt voting changes after the decision.

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice and American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law, which was struck down by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016. Supporters said the measure was necessary to crack down on voter fraud, but opponents said the changes discourage voting by black and Hispanic residents, who use early voting or same-day registration more than white voters and are more likely to lack photo ID.

And Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said the court's move "now renders North Carolina's law null and void, and brings to a close a long and protracted battle over a law deemed one of the most egregious voter suppression measures of its kind".

When the law passed, North Carolina Republicans said voter ID is a sound requirement to increase the integrity of elections.

"The General Assembly is not, and has never purported to be, a named party in this case", North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein wrote in a legal brief that asked the court not to hear the appeal, adding that "the absence of the General Assembly from this lawsuit is no accident". North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, et al, which centered on whether a state law requiring voter IDs was constitutional.

In a statement that accompanied the court's order Monday, Chief Justice John Roberts pointed to uncertainty over who was authorized to file an appeal on behalf of the state.

"We are grateful that the Supreme Court has chose to allow the Fourth Circuit's ruling to stand, confirming that discrimination has no place in our democracy nor our elections", said Allison Riggs, senior staff attorney with SCSJ.

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"We are grateful that the Supreme Court has chose to allow the 4th Circuit's ruling to stand, confirming that discrimination has no place in our democracy and elections".

But McCrory lost the governor's seat in that election.

Shortly after the Supreme Court invalidated parts of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, North Carolina imposed a tough photo ID requirement, reduced the period for early voting by seven days, eliminated the ability to register and vote the same day, invalidated votes case in the wrong precinct, and ended pre-registration for 16-year-olds.

A month later, the Supreme Court declined to block the ruling, which prevented the state from enforcing the voter restrictions. Four states - Iowa, Arkansas, North Dakota and IN - have passed such measures this year alone, according to the Brennan Center.

"We urge the General Assembly to finally accept that racially discriminatory laws have no place in our democracy, and certainly not when it comes to the sacred right to vote", Barber said.

The state appealed to the Supreme Court, which refused to reinstate the law in time for elections.

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