Following heavy voter participation in the African-American community in North Carolina the Republican legislature moved to institute difficult Voter ID laws. The judges heard arguments that these Voter ID laws were part of a normal implementation, but decided that in reality they were brought about by Republicans for racial reasons.
Via Politico: “The record makes clear that the historical origin of the challenged provisions in this statute is not the innocuous back-and-forth of routine partisan struggle that the State suggests and that the district court accepted,” Judge Diana Motz wrote on behalf of Judges James Wynn and Henry Floyd. “Rather, the General Assembly enacted them in the immediate aftermath of unprecedented African American voter participation in a state with a troubled racial history and racially polarized voting. The district court clearly erred in ignoring or dismissing this historical background evidence, all of which supports a finding of discriminatory intent.”
The Obama Administration has been urging the North Carolina courts to invalidate the law, after the Photo ID law had been proved to have discriminatory intent.
Via Politico: “This law was passed with discriminatory intent. It targeted African-Americans ‘with almost surgical precision’ – imposing stringent ID requirements, reducing same-day registration and constraining out-of-precinct voting to place barriers between citizens and the ballot box. And it sent a message that contradicted some of the most basic principles of our democracy,” Lynch said in a statement. “The ability of Americans to have a voice in the direction of their country – to have a fair and free opportunity to help write the story of this nation – is fundamental to who we are and who we aspire to be.”
This news comes shortly after voter suppression laws have been struck down in a variety of other states. Republicans have made concerted efforts to require photo ID to vote since African-Americans are disproportionately effected and vote Democrat. Additionally, the black vote has been suppressed through laws which strip people of voting rights after a criminal conviction, people lose their right to vote permanently in dozens of states.