North Carolina Anti-Voting Law Finished By Court Challenges

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Above Photo: Flickr/ David Drexler

Court’s Decision to Not Hear Appeal Leaves in Place 4th Circuit Ruling Finding the Comprehensive Voter Suppression Measure Discriminatory

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued the following statement regarding today’s Supreme Court move which leaves in place the 4th Circuit’s decision regarding North Carolina’s comprehensive voter suppression measure:

“The Supreme Court’s move today now renders North Carolina’s law null and void, and brings to close a long and protracted battle over a law deemed one of the most egregious voter suppression measures of its kind,” said Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president and executive director, Kristen Clarke. “We are pleased that the Supreme Court has left in place the 4th Circuit’s decision finding North Carolina’s draconian voter suppression measure unlawful because it discriminated against minority voters with ‘almost surgical precision.’”

“The battle over North Carolina’s law reflects the fallout from the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder which gut a core provision of the Voting Rights Act. Had the Section 5 federal review process remained in place, North Carolina’s discriminatory voting law would likely have been blocked at the outset and never would have gone into effect. The fate of North Carolina’s law underscores the need for Congress to take action to restore the Voting Rights Act, and should also serve as a strong caution to lawmakers across the country who are entertaining similar efforts to restrict minority voting rights.”

About the Lawyers’ Committee
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Formed over 50 years ago, we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and community development; economic justice; voting; education and criminal justice. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

  • Steve1027

    Well that’s something at least. Now we just have to fight back the legislature’s anti-immigrant bills and its efforts to destroy unions via emshrining right-to-work-for-less in the state constitution as well as outlawing automatic union dues deductions. Tough odds but the fight moves on!

  • DHFabian

    I’ve read before that the North Carolina vote suppression tactic “discriminated against minority voters with ‘almost surgical precision,’” but that article also didn’t mention how this would be possible. The most widely-used measure, to my knowledge, is the photo ID mandate, a problem for those who don’t have drivers’ licenses. Those who are the least likely to be able to obtain the mandated photo ID are the poor (especially the elderly and disabled) in small towns/rural counties throughout the country. The nearest office where one can obtain the required ID can be in a town miles away, but lacking drivers’ licenses, many have no way to obtain one.

    While the photo ID mandate targets the rural poor with “almost surgical precision,” (and the majority of US poor are white), this article might be referring to a different tactic. It might also merely be an assumption based on old stereotypes. This is a case where “the devil’s in the details,” and the details aren’t provided.

  • Steve1027

    The legislature, via voter registrations, has data on where people live, their race, and their party affiliation. Then it’s just a matter of putting that data through software to draw lines to pack democrats into as few districts as possible and to crack the remaining democrats so that they never exceed 45% in the districts they draw. Packing and cracking. That’s why Roy Cooper won the state-wide gubernatorial election and yet we’re still stuck with GOP supermajorities in both the senate and assembly. Hence, surgical precision.

  • Steve1027

    The legislature, via voter registrations, has data on where people live, their race, and their party affiliation. Then it’s just a matter of putting that data through software to draw lines to pack democrats into as few districts as possible and to crack the remaining democrats so that they never exceed 45% in the districts they draw. Packing and cracking. That’s why Roy Cooper won the state-wide gubernatorial election and yet we’re still stuck with GOP supermajorities in both the senate and assembly. Hence, surgical precision.