U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court lets stand opinion striking down North Carolina's voter ID law as discriminatory

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a federal appeals court ruling striking down North Carolina’s voter ID law as motivated by racially discriminatory intent.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. issued a statement (PDF) accompanying the cert denial, report the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Roberts said there was a dispute over who represented the state and it is important to remember that a cert denial does not express an opinion on the merits of the case.

The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled last July that the law violated the equal protection clause and the Voting Rights Act. The law had required photo identification to vote, reduced early voting, cut same-day registration and voting, cut pre-registration by 16-year-olds, and banned the counting of votes cast in the wrong precinct.

The case had reached the U.S. Supreme Court in September, when the court’s four conservatives were unable to muster a fifth vote to grant an emergency request to allow the state to use the law in the elections.

North Carolina’s new governor and attorney general, both Democrats, took office in January and declined to defend the 2013 law. Lawyers for the state legislature wanted to continue the appeal.

See also: Appeals courts are dismantling stricter voter ID laws

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