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State Supreme Court Reinstates Voter ID Law

The North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday reinstated the state’s voter ID law.

According to CBS 17, the 2018 voter ID law was ruled unconstitutional when the high court had a 4-3 Democrat majority.

North Carolina’s state Supreme Court now has a 5-2 Republican majority.

In separate rulings, the court also overturned a previous decision that said electoral maps drawn by Republican legislators were illegal and ended voting rights for felons who are out of prison but still serving probation or parole.

The court’s two Democratic justices dissented in all three rulings.

CBS 17 reported:

A trial court had ruled that the state’s 2018 voter ID law was unconstitutional, tainted by racial bias and designed to help Republicans keep hold of power at the General Assembly.

The high court sided with that ruling in December — when Democrats held a 4-3 majority — but agreed last month to take another look at it.

At the heart of the issue regarding voting rights for felons is a 1973 state law that delays the restoration of those rights for some offenders whose punishments do not include prison — which affects roughly 56,000 people.

A panel of state judged ruled last year that the law was unconstitutional and discriminates against Black residents. Defenders of the law say it treats all felony offenders the same and sets a bright line for voting once all punishments are completed.

“The Republican State Supreme Court has ignored the constitution and followed the marching orders of the Republican legislature by declaring open season for their extreme partisan gerrymandering and is destroying the court’s reputation for independence,” Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement.

“Republican legislators wanted a partisan court that would issue partisan opinions and that’s exactly what this is,” he added.

CBS 17 added:

The map-drawing ruling gives the Republicans — who hold a supermajority in the General Assembly — the chance to redraw the state’s congressional map for the 2024 election. Democrats and Republicans each hold seven of the state’s 14 seats in Congress. National Republicans are trying to hold onto a slim majority.

“I think we are going to be ground zero for this election cycle, both at the presidential level and at the congressional level,” said Michael Whatley, chairman of the state Republican Party. “I think that when you look at the narrow margins we have right now, every seat is going to be crucial. Every seat is going to be important.”

House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, told CBS 17 that lawmakers will not redraw North Carolina’s map until the U.S. Supreme Court rules in a separate case involving Alabama’s redistricting plan and until they find out whether another case about the issue before the court will even continue after this ruling.


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