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Supreme Court Won't Resurrect North Carolina's Voter ID Law

20 May, 2017, 10:25 | Author: Mae Harvey

An election law fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Hans von Spakovsky, said in a written statement that it is disappointing "the Supreme Court did not accept for review an obviously wrong decision by a 4th Circuit panel that doesn't follow the Court's own precedent and other decisions on voter ID by other federal courts".

The appeals court had said the law targeted black voters with "surgical precision".

The New Hanover County Board of Elections displays the NC Voter ID Laws.

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to reinstate North Carolina's voter identification law that a lower court said targeted African Americans "with nearly surgical precision".

Last summer the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit reversed the judge's ruling, holding that the state legislature had passed the law with discriminatory intent. "However, as noted by Chief Justice Roberts, 'The denial of a writ of certiorari imports no expression of opinion upon the merits of the case.' Republicans will continue to fight for common sense and constitutional voter I.D. measures, similar to what many other states already have".

The Supreme Court's ruling upheld last year's decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the law's photo ID requirement.

The appeals court did not allow the law to be used in the 2016 election, and voters replaced the state's Republican governor, Pat McCrory, with Democrat Roy Cooper.

The Rev. William Barber says in a news release that the victory is "unimaginably important for African-Americans, Latinos, all North Carolinians and the nation".

The U.S. Supreme Court today left in place a lower court decision that struck down North Carolina's voter ID law.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear North Carolina's appeal of a court ruling that found its legislature meant to discriminate against minorities in enacting one of the toughest voter ID laws in the nation.

Under President Obama, the Justice Department urged the court not to take the case and to leave the lower court ruling in place that blocks enforcement of the voting restrictions.

"This is a big deal and VERY good news for the voting- rights community", tweeted Rick Hasen, an election-law expert and law professor at the University of California, Irvine.

"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 and elections", said Allison Riggs, senior staff attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

The law also eliminated same-day voter registration, and significantly reduced the number of early voting days.

North Carolina's attorney general is not defending the law. The Legislature, however, exempted absentee voting from the photo ID requirement.

Republicans in North Carolina and Texas moved to enact new voting measures after the Supreme Court in 2013 struck down a provision of the federal Voting Rights Act that had required them to get advance approval before changing laws dealing with elections.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which led a coalition of civil rights groups challenging the law, said the court's decision will close an "ugly chapter in voter suppression".


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