WASHINGTON (AP/WNCN) – 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.
“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.”
Allison Riggs, senior staff attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, was also quoted in the ACLU’s release.
“We are grateful that the Supreme Court has decided to allow the Fourth Circuit’s ruling to stand, confirming that discrimination has no place in our democracy nor our elections,” she said. “This ruling sends a strong message that lawmakers in North Carolina should stop enacting laws that discriminate based on race.”