Voter Suppression

SCOTUS Rejects Pat McCrory’s Appeal for Exceptionally Racist Voter ID Law

There's more good news than bad news here, but it's worth mentioning both.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal of North Carolina's racially discriminatory voter ID law sought by Governor Pat McCrory who asked the court to reinstate the law.

Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor voted to leave the appeals court's ruling in place. Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy and Alito voted to let the state reimpose the ID provision and the cuts to early voting. Justice Thomas would have granted the request in its entirety. The Justices did not explain their positions.

To say that this law was racially discriminatory is an understatement. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals found that state lawmakers intentionally requested data that displayed the impact a voter ID law would have on black voters and then used that data to suppress black voters. Short of making it illegal for minorities to vote, the Klan could not come up with a better scheme than Republicans in North Carolina did.

The good news is the law is dead. The bad news is there are at least 4 sitting Supreme Court justices who read the 4th Circuit's ruling, as damning as it was, and thought they got it wrong. As NBC News pointed out, Justice Thomas would have fully reinstated the law if he had his way, because of course he would.

Once again we find ourselves celebrating the fact that Justice Antonin Scalia is no longer with us, but we're far from out of the woods.

As you may recall, Governor McCrory hired the very expensive former solicitor general Paul Clement to represent the state in this case. Clement has been hired by Republicans to fight Obamacare, gay marriage, higher wages, and voting rights.

I'm not sure if that's necessarily a blessing in disguise, but he does keep losing.