The U.S. Court of Appeals today (Wednesday) reversed a lower court ruling on North Carolina’s Voter ID law.
That law – the second version approved by the voters and the General Assembly — was voted in by a majority of North Carolina voters in 2018, then tossed out after a lawsuit by state Democrat leaders, the NAACP and minority organizations who said it unfairly targeted minorities.
The Fourth US Court in a unanimous ruling today stated that the lower court squashed the law based on political, not constitutional, grounds.
“The district court penalized the General Assembly because of who they were, instead of what they did,” the judges wrote in a unanimous decision. “When discussing the sequence of events leading to the 2018 Voter-ID Law’s enactment, the district court discounted the normalcy of the legislative process to focus on who drafted and passed the law.”
The lower court ruled in art that the law was unconstitutional because of North Carolina’s past history of racially-discriminatory voting laws. From 1968 until 2014, North Carolina was required to have the approval of the U.S. Justice Department before making any changes in voting laws. The 2018 law was approved by voters, passed by the general Assembly, and vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper’s veto was overridden, and the plaintiffs filed the lawsuit the next day.
The law makes extensive provisions for providing voter identification to all citizens who are legally qualified to vote.
Barring a reversal on appeal to the Supreme court, Voter ID will be required in all future North Carolina elections.
We have reached out to Reps. Brenden Jones and Carson Smith, as well as Sen. Danny Britt, for comment. This is a developing story.