ACRU

ACRU Urges High Court to Take North Carolina Voter Law Case

Courts - Justice Statue with blindfold

‘The bald truth is that the suit by the Plaintiffs in this matter involves a carefully planned, open revolt’ against the Court’s 2013 Shelby v. Holder ruling.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 4, 2015) —- The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals erred when it overruled a District Court’s opinion upholding a law reforming North Carolina’s voting process just before the 2014 election, the American Civil Rights Union argues in a brief filed today urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the state’s appeal.

In State of North Carolina, et al. v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina, et al., the ACRU’s brief, written by General Counsel Peter Ferrara, notes that minority voting percentages in 2014 rose under the law instead of declining as the plaintiffs had projected.

In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted a law eliminating same-day voter registration and “out of precinct provisional balloting.”  The U.S. Supreme Court put the Fourth’s ruling on hold, allowing the new provisions to be enforced during last November’s election. Supporters said the changes would help prevent vote fraud. Critics insisted the law would “suppress minority voting.”  Yet, as the ACRU’s brief notes, with the law in place:

“African-American votes in North Carolina soared to 629,179 in 2014, from 540, 307 in the last mid-term election in 2010… an increase of 16.45%.”

The brief notes that,”The bald truth is that the suit by the Plaintiffs in this matter involves a carefully planned, open revolt against the decision of this Court in Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder (2013.)”  That ruling invalidated a portion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that had given the U.S. Justice Department and a D.C.-based federal court the power to review all voting law changes in several states, including North Carolina.

With courts arriving at different rulings in several circuits, the brief states, “Definitive resolution of these issues by this Court is necessary not only for the Fourth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits, but also for the Fifth and Sixth, where active litigation is also pending, as well as in the states of North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas and Ohio.”