Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal in NC voter ID case

Roland Mccarthy | 16 May, 2017, 06:58

It "contained measures (1) requiring voters to present an approved form of photo identification before casting a valid ballot; (2) reducing the early voting period from 17 to 10 days; (3) eliminating out-of-precinct voting; (4) eliminating same-day registration and voting; and (5) eliminating preregistration by 16-year-olds", the ruling states.

The law was originally passed by North Carolina's Republican-majority legislature in 2013, just weeks after the Supreme Court lifted the federal safeguard that required pre-approval before a state with a history of discrimination could change its election laws. On July 29, 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated these restrictions, which it said targeted African Americans "with nearly surgical precision" in violation of the Voting Rights Act and 14 Amendment.

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.

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. That law was considered one of the most restrictive US voting laws in decades, with multiple provisions that disproportionately affected black voters.

North Carolina Republicans hoped the Supreme Court would salvage the law, but that effort was stymied by the 2016 general election, in which the state's incumbent GOP governor was unseated by Democrat Roy Cooper.

Supreme Court lets stand opinion striking...

Today, the Supreme Court denied the North Carolina legislature its last option to keep VIVA alive and North Carolina voters suppressed.

Almost without fail, voter ID is an attempt to suppress Democratic votes and engineer Republican election wins. "I will continue to work to protect the right of every legal, registered North Carolinian to participate in our democratic process". Pat McCrory signed them into law. It's in the context of the ensuing mess that the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case.

Democrats are praising the U.S. Supreme Court for refusing to hear an appeal aimed at reinstating North Carolina's voter identification law, which opponents have said targeted African-Americans.

Since Trump's election last November, states such as Texas and Wisconsin have tried to adopt legislation similar to North Carolina's, which they have defended as a way to battle voter fraud. Before voting on the final law, as a federal appeals court that struck much of it down explained, the state legislature "requested data on the use, by race, of a number of voting practices", then used this data to shape the law in order to increase its impact on black voters and minimize its impact on white voters.

The New York Times, reporting a year ago on the 4th Circuit's ruling, noted "the court found that North Carolina lawmakers requested data on racial differences in voting behaviors in the state".

But they were unable to find a necessary fifth vote from one of the court's four liberals.

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