Federal Appeals Court Upholds Voter ID, Reverses Lower Court, Slams Judge for ‘Abuse of Discretion’

RICHMOND, VA – A Federal Appeals Court has reversed a lower court’s 2018 decision blocking implementation of Voter ID in North Carolina, in the latest chapter of a years long saga to implement simple, common sense voter protections just like dozens of other states around the country.

The a judicial panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals penned a stinging ruling, reversing lower court Judge Loretta Bigg’s injunction against Voter ID implementation while sternly rebuking her for a ruling that essentially said because there was racism in the past, everything this General Assembly does must be racist.

This means the extremely workable photo ID requirement will be in effect for 2022 elections. Considering our election system is currently suffering a crisis of confidence about the 2020 elections and allegations of widespread fraud, the straightforward voter integrity measure couldn’t come soon enough.

Judge Julius Richardson was not gentle in the reversal opinion for the panel, writing that Judge Biggs blatantly disregarded “unmistakable commands” on the matter from higher courts; committed fundamental legal errors in assigning guilt for sins of the past; and, abused her discretion in blocking the law’s implementation.

From the ruling:

“We do not reverse the district court because it weighed the evidence before it differently than we would. Instead, we reverse because of the fundamental legal errors that permeate the opinion—the flipping of the burden of proof and the failure to provide the presumption of legislative good faith—that irrevocably affected its outcome. We therefore hold that the district court abused its discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction.

We do not doubt, as we held in McCrory and as the State expressly acknowledges in this case, that there is a long and shameful history of race-based voter suppression in North Carolina. See McCrory, 831 F.3d at 223. But we made clear in McCrory that our holding did not “freeze North Carolina election law in place.” 831 F.3d at 241. The district court failed to adhere to our admonishment and the Supreme Court’s unmistakable commands in Abbott. Instead, it considered the North Carolina General Assembly’s past conduct to bear so heavily on its later acts that it was virtually impossible for it to pass a voter-ID law that meets constitutional muster. In doing so, the district court improperly reversed the burden of proof and disregarded the presumption of legislative good faith. And the remaining evidence in the record fails to meet the Challengers’ burden. For these reasons, the district court abused its discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction.10 The judgment below is REVERSED.”

When it comes to reversal opinions, terms like ‘fundamental legal errors’ and ‘abuse of discretion’ are the last thing a lower court judge wants to see. It is more than merely getting overturned; it’s a public scathing for incompetent errors in issuing an absurd and/or obstinate opinion. It’s a judicial body slam.

And that slam is reverberating through those shady forces on the Left that have propelled this race baiting attack on common sense voter ID for years now. The NAACP, Democracy Now, The Redistricting Project, and Roy Cooper.

The first three were those that sued over the law, alleging racist voter suppression of minorities. Roy Cooper — it doesn’t list him in his official capacity as governor, just “Roy Cooper” — joined in on the case as a friend of the court to fight voter ID.

The political lawsuit from the NAACP of NC gets back up from Leftists like Democracy Now and ominous forces like The Redistricting Project. The latter is the group set up by the Obama clique, and run by Eric Holder, to ‘Sue til Blue’ in terms of legislative maps and all things elections. They focused considerable attention on North Carolina these last few years, helping to bring chaos to our redistricting sagas and smear Republicans as racist, of course.

Cooper is right at home with these groups, which is why he invited himself to contribute to the challenge. Now, he’s just been flattened by the 4th Circuit along with the rest of them, and voter ID is back.

That’s good news for North Carolinians, and with everything going on right now in politics and elections, we’ll take all the good voter integrity developments we can get.

Have a hot tip for First In Freedom Daily?

Got a hot news tip for us? Photos or video of a breaking story? Send your tips, photos and videos to tips@firstinfreedomdaily.com. All hot tips are immediately forwarded to FIFD Staff.

Have something to say? Send your own guest column or original reporting to submissions@firstinfreedomdaily.com.