Voter Suppression

Supreme Court Rejects Voter ID Challenge

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Good news -- the Supreme Court has rejected an appeal of a lower court ruling against North Carolina's blatantly racist voter suppression law.

From the ACLU:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has declined to review a federal appeals court decision holding that North Carolina’s 2013 election law — which imposed a voter ID requirement, cut a week of early voting, and eliminated same-day registration — intentionally discriminates against African-Americans. North Carolina has now exhausted all avenues of appeal.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Coalition for Social Justice challenged the law, which was struck down by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016. In early January, the state sought Supreme Court review, but the newly elected governor moved to drop the petition, prompting the legislators who passed the measure to try and intervene.

The Court has affirmed the Fourth District Court of Appeals' findings and this may have implications for the rest of the country, but the actions of Republicans in North Carolina were extraordinarily blatant.

You may recall that the Fourth District of Appeals found that Republican lawmakers requested data on the effect a voter suppression law would have on African American communities and then used that data to explicitly target them rather than protect them. Lawmakers in other states may be more careful or covert when drafting their own laws.

Chief Justice John Roberts denied this appeal and that's notable because Justice Roberts is the man who declared that racism is over when overturning key sections of the Voting Rights Act. It's possible he's remorseful, but I don't know if I want to give him that much credit just yet.

  • Aynwrong

    This is good news but it’s also an example of the opportunity lost. To alter the ideological makeup of the court for generations. Now it will likely become a rightwing rubber stamp for decades. And it’s also likely that despite this decision the court will likely aid those in the GOP who wish to make it more difficult for minorities err… cultural coastal elites (yeah, that’s we’ll call ’em!) to cast a ballot.

    Also, let’s not pretend that “economically anxious” Trump voter will ever have a problem with this.

  • Badgerite

    This is why the GOP was so intent on not confirming any nominees of a Democratic President to the Supreme Court even if it meant not filling positions for 4 years of a possible Hilary Clinton presidency. Voting rights and gerrymandering cases are going to determine the representative or non representative make up of our future government and our future laws. The GOP can look at demographics as well as anyone. The appointments that they will make to the Court will be counted upon by them to ensure that the nature of our laws and our government will be non-representative. That is why they were and are willing to collude with a hostile foreign power and criminal elements that operate from that power to basically steal an election where the popular vote winner by a measure of 2.8 million votes is not the POTUS.
    Because they plan to steal all future elections if they can. And to do that, they need the Supreme Court in their pocket.

    • ninjaf

      “But her emails!”

  • muselet

    The Supreme Court declined to review the North Carolina voter suppression law on technical grounds, specifically, who has standing to defend the law in the federal courts.

    I’d be shocked if this were the last word on the law. The R legislators will get their ducks in a row and make some plausible-sounding argument for why they and not the state should have standing, at which point the case goes back up the courts. Once those niceties are taken care of, I predict the Supremes will cheerfully uphold the law based on the well-established legal principle of “Republicans rule, Democrats drool.”

    This decision is a reprieve, not a victory.


    • Unfortunately true.

    • ninjaf

      You are probably right, but I hope not. Nothing personal. 😉