Voter Suppression

Supreme Court Rejects Voter ID Challenge

SK Ashby
Written by SK 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.