Supreme Court rejects appeal over NC voter ID law

Claudine Rigal
Mai 16, 2017

The state also imposed a requirement that most voters. The appeal was filed by Cooper's predecessor, Republican Pat McCrory. Roberts noted Monday that a trial judge who had upheld the law did so in "a almost 500-page opinion".

But the election resulted in a new Democratic governor and a Democratic attorney general, and they had told the court they did not want to defend the law enacted by the state's Republican-controlled legislature.

The court found that all five restrictions "disproportionately affected African-Americans". That ruling struck down the law's photo ID requirement and reduction in early voting.

The law, SL 2013-381, required voters to present an approved ID, reduced the early voting period to ten from seventeen days, and got rid of out-of-precinct voting, same-day registration, and preregistration by sixteen-year-olds.

However the 5th Circuit Court rules, the losing side is sure to appeal to the Supreme Court.

North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, et al, which centered on whether a state law requiring voter IDs was constitutional. "An ugly chapter in voter suppression is finally closing". This, in turn, prompted the North Carolina General Assembly to try and intervene. "As the Supreme Court discussed whether to hear the case, the state under a new Democratic governor Roy Cooper asked to withdraw the appeal".

"The General Assembly seeks to reverse course at the eleventh hour", the attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups wrote in a brief, adding "the court should not reward these tactics and prolong a case where every party has decided not to pursue an appeal".

Chief Justice John Roberts said that the political uncertainty raised questions over who is authorized to seek an appeal of the lower-court ruling and that nothing should be read into the court's decision to refuse to hear the argument.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined once again to reinstate North Carolina's strict voter ID law, which was struck down past year after a court ruled it was intentionally created to stop African-Americans from voting.

Needless to say, activists, civil rights groups and even the Obama administration quickly got involved, filing lawsuits against the new laws.

The justices' decision to reject the appeal sets no legal precedent and does not necessarily mean the conservative-leaning court would not endorse such laws in future. That law was considered one of the most restrictive US voting laws in decades, with multiple provisions that disproportionately affected black voters.

"We are grateful that the Supreme Court has made a decision to allow the 4th Circuit's ruling to stand, confirming that discrimination has no place in our democracy and elections". More broadly, the earlier decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the law remains as precedent binding on Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and SC, while its reasoning might continue to influence other courts, as well.

The State Board of Elections reported last month that about 500 ineligible voters cast ballots out of the 4.8 million recorded in North Carolina during the November election.

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