NC NAACP Statement on the US Supreme Court Ruling

VOTING RIGHTS VICTORY

U.S. Supreme Court Denies NC Legislators’ Bid to Overturn Court of Appeals’ Invalidation of “Monster Voter Suppression Law” (HB 589)
Racially Discriminatory Voting Provisions Remain Permanently Barred
  Today, May 15,2017 the U.S. Supreme Court denied the late-filed cert request by leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly for review of NC NAACP v. McCrory, thus reinforcing the long-fought voting rights victory of the people of North Carolina. The Court’s decision lets stand a decision entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on July 29th, 2016, in which the Fourth Circuit struck down as unconstitutional five racially discriminatory provisions of the 2013 “monster voter suppression law” (HB 589), after determining that the challenged provisions “target[ed] African Americans with almost surgical precision,” and “impose[d] cures for problems that did not exist.” The NC NAACP State Conference released the following statement:
 
“Today we experience a victory for justice that is unimaginably important for African Americans, Latinos, all North Carolinians, and the nation” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, the lead organizational plaintiff in the case. “The highest Court in the land has rejected the N.C. General Assembly’s improper efforts to inject cynical politics into the Supreme Court’s docket, and instead embraced the sound judgment of the Fourth Circuit, which found that this General Assembly enacted voting laws with discriminatory intent. The Court’s critical rejection today of the N.C. General Assembly’s leadership’s position tells the people of North Carolina and across the country that the right to vote unencumbered by expansive restrictions or by racist politicians or racist policies is fundamental, and that under the laws of the land, it will be upheld.”
 
“This is a deeply meaningful victory for the plaintiffs, like Rosanell Eaton, Carolyn Coleman, Mary Perry and Maria Palmer, who led this battle for over four years, and for the people of North Carolina,” stated Penda Hair, legal director of Forward Justice and lead attorney for the NC NAACP. “Last month, Mrs. Rosanell Eaton celebrated her 96th birthday. Today’s decision from the court is a testament to her, and to so many others who have committed their lives to the fight for racial equality and access to the ballot.”
 
“The impact of this decision is hard to overstate,” explained NC NAACP Attorney Irv Joyner. “North Carolina voters will now – permanently – be able to vote free of a restrictive, discriminatory Photo ID requirement at the polls and access the full Early Voting period and the option of Same-Day Registration, which allows all eligible voters to register and vote at the same time during the Early Voting period. Voters who vote in the right county but incorrect precinct will also be protected from having their votes completely discounted, and young people aged 16 and 17 will have access to ‘pre-registration’.”
 
“The NC State Conference of the NAACP, and all of its local branches are reinforced by this ruling, as we continue our mobilization efforts to educate and assist local communities on their right to vote and the role of ‘we the people’ in our imperiled democracy,” Rev. Dr. Barber stated. “We urge the General Assembly to finally accept that racially discriminatory laws have no place in our democracy, and certainly not when it comes to the sacred right to vote. The legislature cannot erect barriers that are plainly motivated by a desire to disenfranchise African-American and Latino voters and undermine the growing voting strength of communities of color. Now is the 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.”

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