North Carolina judges struck down the state’s latest photo voter identification law on Friday, agreeing with minority voters that Republicans rammed through rules tainted by racial bias as a way to remain in power.
Two of the three trial judges declared the December 2018 law is unconstitutional, even though it was designed to implement a photo voter ID mandate added to the North Carolina Constitution in a referendum just weeks earlier. They said the law intentionally discriminates against Black voters, violating their equal protections.
The law “was motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional intent to target African American voters,” Superior Court Judges Michael O’Foghludha and Vince Rozier wrote in their 100-page majority opinion.
“Other, less restrictive voter ID laws would have sufficed to achieve the legitimate nonracial purposes of implementing the constitutional amendment requiring voter ID, deterring fraud, or enhancing voter confidence.”
The majority decision, which followed a three-week trial in April, is now likely headed to a state appeals court, which had previously blocked the law’s enforcement last year while the case was heard. The law remains unenforceable with this ruling.
With a similar lawsuit in federal court set to go to trial this January and another state court lawsuit now on appeal, it’s looking more unlikely that a voter ID mandate for in-person and absentee balloting will happen in the 2022 elections.
The ruling reflects “how the state’s Republican-controlled legislature undeniably implemented this legislation to maintain its power by targeting voters of color,” said Allison Riggs, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney.
Spokespersons for Republican legislative leaders, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, didn’t immediately respond to email requests for comment.
Southern states increasingly aren't "red" states, they are "states where Black and brown voters are kept from voting "states. Losing Virginia to the Democrats was bad enough, but if Republicans lost Georgia, NC, Florida and Texas, their national ambitions would be done.
They know this.
Everything going forward is the GOP maintaining their power through white supremacist tricks as old as America itself.