The US. Supreme Court has ruled 8-1 that leaders of North Carolina’s Republican legislature can step in to advocate for a voter ID law in court that they believe the state’s Democratic attorney general isn’t fighting hard enough to defend.
Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only one to dissent in the case, which has been closely watched given November’s crucial midterm elections are just months away.
“At the heart of this lawsuit lies a challenge to the constitutionality of a North Carolina election law. But the merits of that dispute are not before us, only an antecedent question of civil procedure: Are two leaders of North Carolina’s state legislature entitled to participate in the case under the terms of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure,”Gorsuch wrote the opinion.
“Within wide constitutional bounds, States are free to structure themselves as they wish. They often choose to
They can conduct their affairs via a number of agencies and branches. They may work together in the pursuit of common goals, but they can also reach different conclusions about key policy issues. It is possible that Americans live with the spread of governmental power within and between institutions. But it can also pose its difficulties when a State’s laws or policies are challenged in federal court,” he added.
Here's the opinion from Neil Gorsuch in Berger v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP: https://t.co/3KvasUOpDV. Sonia Sotomayor dissents.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 23, 2022
The case involved whether Republican lawmakers in North Carolina can intervene to defend the state’s voter ID law from lawsuits.
Republican lawmakers say the state’s Democratic Attorney General John Stein is not properly defending the law from legal challenges brought by the NAACP and other groups who claim it violates the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.
Back in September, a North Carolina three-judge panel blocked the state’s photo voter ID law, ruling that it “was motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional intent to target African American voters.”
S.B. 824 is the law. 824 requires that all voters have a valid photo ID to cast their vote.
In a 2-1 ruling, two Wake County Superior Court judges held that the law violates the state’s constitution “because it was adopted with a discriminatory purpose.”
“North Carolina’s Voter ID law was enacted with the unconstitutional intent to discriminate against African American voters,”The majority of them wrote.
Two judges referenced a Sen. Van Duyn 2015 study that showed that at least 5.9% registered voters lack identification, and 9.6% were black voters. “lacked acceptable ID”Comparable to 4.5% for white registered voters in the previous election bill.
A majority of respondents also felt that the law discriminated because “since a greater percentage of Black voters live in poverty, Black voters face greater hurdles to acquiring photo ID.”
S.B. 824 required voters in North Carolina to present photo ID, including driver’s licenses, military IDs, and other forms of identification.
Judge Nathaniel Poovey resigned, claiming “not one scintilla of evidence was introduced during this trial that any legislator acted with racially discriminatory intent.”
Poovey stated that plaintiffs relied upon the “past history of other lawmakers and used an extremely broad brush to paint the 2018 General Assembly with the same toxic paint. The majority opinion, in this case, attempts to weave together the speculations and conjectures that Plaintiffs put forward as circumstantial evidence of discriminatory intent behind Session Law 2018-144.”
Poovey pointed out that plaintiffs “failed to meet their initial burden”To prove that the legislature “acted with a racially discriminatory intent.”
Conservative Brief’s first article, Supreme Court Says North Carolina Republicans can Defend Photo ID Law At Court, appeared first on Conservative Brief.
The full article is available here here