Excerpt By: Polizette. Written By: Brendan Kirby.
The Supreme Court could decide as early as Monday whether to review an appellate court decision striking down North Carolina’s law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.
The ruling by the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was something of an outlier in the ongoing war over voter ID laws, finding not just that the statute disproportionately impacted minorities but that lawmakers had acted intentionally to suppress minority voters “Voter ID works just about wherever it’s tried.”
“Although the new provisions target African-Americans with almost surgical precision, they constitute inapt remedies for the problems assertedly justifying them and, in fact, impose cures for problems that did not exist,” U.S. Circuit Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote in an opinion signed by all three judges on the appeals panel. “Thus the asserted justifications cannot and do not conceal the State’s true motivation.”
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If the high court decides not to hear the case, it will leave North Carolina without a photo ID law. If the justices do take the case and adopt the reasoning of the appeals court, it could jeopardize voter ID laws elsewhere — particularly in Southern states that previously had to get advance go-ahead from the Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act to make even minor changes to voting rules.
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