The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to reinstate North Carolina’s voter identification law that a lower court said targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision.”
The justices on Monday left in place the lower court ruling striking down the law’s photo ID requirement and reduction in early voting.
The situation was complicated when Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein tried to withdraw the appeal, which was first filed when Republican Pat McCrory was governor.
Chief Justice John Roberts said the political situation created uncertainty over who is authorized to seek review of the lower court ruling.
The dispute is similar to the court fight over Texas’ voter ID law, also struck down as racially discriminatory.
Reaction from those opposed to the voter ID law came shortly after the Supreme Court’s rejection of the appeal was announced.
Gov. Roy Cooper released a statement calling the decision “good news.”
“Today’s announcement is good news for North Carolina voters. We need to be making it easier to vote, not harder – and the Court found this law sought to discriminate against African-American voters with “surgical precision.” I will continue to work to protect the right of every legal, registered North Carolinian to participate in our democratic process.”
“This law, enacted with what the appeals court called discriminatory intent and ‘almost surgical precision’ targeting African-American voters, is meeting its much-deserved demise,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project in a press release. “An ugly chapter in voter suppression is finally closing.”
The North Carolina Democratic Party’s Chair Wayne Goodwin said the party was “pleased” with the decision.