Supreme Court Refuses To Reinstate NC Voter Law

Aug 31, 2016

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The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected North Carolina's request to reinstate its voting overhaul this November.

It's not a final ruling in the case. But for this election, it means North Carolina can't use a variety of Republican changes a federal appeals court found were passed with discriminatory intent.

In July, a federal appeals court ruled the voting overhaul targeted African-Americans with “almost surgical precision.” Republican lawmakers cut early voting; eliminated same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting and preregistration of high schoolers; and created a photo ID requirement. The appeals judges wrote that lawmakers had data showing the changes would disproportionately affect African-Americans. 

North Carolina appealed the ruling and asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put it on hold in the meantime.

The nation's highest court has now rejected that request.

Since the U.S. Senate has refused to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the court still only has eight members. They deadlocked four-to-four along ideological lines, which leaves the lower court order in place this November. 

The state board of elections is in the process of complying with that order. It's currently reviewing the early voting plans counties submitted.