Supreme Court Denies North Carolina's Stay Application and Maintains the Injunction on Racially Discriminatory Provision of HB 589

Supreme Court Denies North Carolina's Stay Application and Maintains the 
Injunction on Racially Discriminatory Provision of HB 589

DURHAM –  Today the U.S. Supreme Court denied North Carolina’s application to recall and stay the mandate entered by the Fourth Circuit on July 29th, 2016. The Fourth Circuit mandate struck down five racially discriminatory provisions of HB 589, including the Voter ID requirement. This ruling validates the victory of the people of North Carolina, leaving in place the prohibition on those discriminatory provisions for the upcoming November election. This denial follows the Court of Appeals’ finding in July that discriminatory intent impermissibly motivated Gov. Pat. McCrory and the General Assembly to enact HB 589. The NC NAACP State Conference released the following statement:

“Today we achieved another major victory for justice, African Americans, Latinos, and all North Carolinians,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP. “The highest Court in the land has rejected the State’s efforts to implement election provisions found by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to have been enacted with discriminatory intent. This critical rejection of the State’s position will allow the people of North Carolina to exercise the fundamental right to vote this November without expansive restrictions by racist politicians or racist policies. North Carolina voters will not be asked to show a restrictive and discriminatory Photo ID at the polls this November. Early voting will begin on October 20th and will include the option of Same-Day-Registration, allowing all eligible voters to be able to register and vote at the same time during the Early Voting period. Votes cast by eligible voters in the wrong precinct but the right county will be counted on election day in North Carolina and “pre-registration” of youth aged 16 and 17 is once again available in the state.”

“The NC NAACP State conference and all of its local branches are reinforced by this ruling, as we continue our mobilization efforts to educate and assist local communities on the voting mechanisms available to them in the upcoming election. We urge the State of North Carolina and Gov. McCrory to accept -as the Supreme Court has affirmed today- that racially discriminatory laws have no place at the ballot box. Politics as usual is no longer acceptable in our State, and the legislature cannot erect barriers to plainly undermine the growing voting strength of African American and Latino voters. It is time to move forward toward a shared prosperous future for all North Carolinians and to heal the core of our democracy in this State and in this nation.

4th Circuit Victory

Voting Rights Victory in the 4th Circuit Court

Court of Appeals Rejects Governor McCrory’s Efforts to Suppress the Right to Vote for Minority and Other Voters in North Carolina; Permanently Blocks Voter ID and Other Extremist Tactics to Keep Black and Brown Voters from Exercising the Right to Vote

- A Statement from the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP -

WASHINGTON – The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that unconstitutional racial intent motivated North Carolina's 2013 voter suppression law and ordered that the law's elimination of same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and pre-registration, the imposition of an onerous photo ID requirement and the reduction of early voting be permanently enjoined. The three-judge appellate panel reversed the district court and ruled in favor of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and other individual plaintiffs who filed suit on the day the law was signed and have fought tirelessly to expose the unconstitutional intent and effect of this law and block its implementation. The NC NAACP group of plaintiffs is represented by attorneys Penda D. Hair, Caitlin Swain, Adam Stein and Irving Joyner as well as the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

“We are happy today that the 4th Circuit’s Court of Appeals' decision exposed the racist intent of the extremist element of our government in North Carolina," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. "In 2013, this government took our voting system — which was a model for the nation in encouraging people to vote, not discouraging them — and they made it into the worst voter suppression act in the country. Today the 4th Circuit’s decision gives North Carolinians back an electoral system that allows the people of North Carolina to vote freely this fall."

"The Circuit Court’s ruling today is a people’s victory and a victory that sends a message to the nation,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. “The court found— under the sensitive inquiry required by law -- that how the law was enacted and its impact made crystal clear that discriminatory intent impermissibly motivated this General Assembly. Under our constitution, and under the core principles and dictates of the Voting Rights Act, these provisions have no legitimacy under the law."

“Based on the ruling today," Barber explained, "North Carolina voters will not have to show a discriminatorily motived voter ID in the state of North Carolina in November or in any future election. North Carolinians will enjoy the full scope of early voting opportunities previously available, and will not be denied needed safeguards to protect the ability to exercise the right to vote including the option of same day registration. We know that this decision is a step closer to a freer, fairer electoral system in our state and in the nation. It is our duty to continue this fight until barriers based on race are swept away as ancient history.”

  “The Court’s decision reinforces that race-based decision-making in the electoral system will not stand,” said Penda D. Hair, lead attorney for the NC NAACP. “We know that voters of color rely most heavily on these voting measures, and that, without this decision, they would have borne the brunt of the burden this November. Today’s decision is the culmination of a long and grueling fight to fully restore the rights of North Carolina voters and renew the integrity of democracy in the state. We believe the plaintiffs' fight for justice received vindication today.”

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