SCOTUS will not review case to reinstate vote identification law

Supreme Court Declines Republican Bid To Revive North Carolina Voter ID Law

By: Camila Domonoske, NPR
Special to Historic City News

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined once again to reinstate North Carolina’s strict voter ID law, which was struck down last year after a court ruled it was intentionally designed to stop African-Americans from voting.

The nation’s highest court refused to consider an appeal by North Carolina Republicans, NPR’s Pam Fessler reports.

It’s not the first time the Supreme Court has considered an appeal over the law, which was one of the country’s strictest. It was put in place after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act and cleared the way for states with a history of discrimination to craft new voting laws without federal oversight.

Michael Tomsic of member station WFAE wrote last fall about the lengthy battle over North Carolina’s law, which was ostensibly meant to combat voter fraud:

“That fight began in 2013, when the state made cuts to early voting, created a photo ID requirement and eliminated same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and pre-registration of high school students.  More than half of all voters there use early voting, and African-Americans do so at higher rates than whites. African-Americans also tend to overwhelmingly vote for Democrats.”

Those provisions of the law were struck down in July 2016 by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The state appealed to the Supreme Court, which refused to reinstate the law in time for elections.

The legal drama continued, as David Boraks of WFAE reports:

“The state and then-Governor Pat McCrory appealed the Fourth Circuit decision to the Supreme Court. As the Supreme Court discussed whether to hear the case, the state under a new Democratic governor Roy Cooper asked to withdraw the appeal.”

That’s the appeal the high court announced Monday that it will not be hearing.

“Numerous independent investigations have concluded that voter fraud exists, but is extremely limited in scope,” Pam reported last week.

Critics said the commission would justify voter suppression efforts, while state election officials are worried it could “divert attention from other serious concerns, such as aging equipment and the threat of hacking,” Pam wrote.

Share your thoughts with our readers >>