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.”