sunny.png
Sunday August 14th, 2022 8:24PM

Supreme Court rules for GOP lawmakers in voter ID case

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court gave Republican legislative leaders in North Carolina a win Thursday in a fight over the state's latest photo identification voting law.

The 8-1 decision does not end the three-year-plus dispute over the voter ID law, which is not in effect and has been challenged in state and federal courts. The Supreme Court's ruling just means that the legislative leaders can intervene in the federal case to defend the law. A lower court had ruled the lawmakers' interests were being adequately represented by the state's attorney general, Democrat Josh Stein.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote: “Through the General Assembly, the people of North Carolina have authorized the leaders of their legislature to defend duly enacted state statutes against constitutional challenge. Ordinarily, a federal court must respect that kind of sovereign choice, not assemble presumptions against it.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

North Carolina voters amended the state constitution in 2018 to include a voter ID mandate. Lawmakers then passed the law at issue in the case to put in place the change. The law requires voters to show a photo ID to vote — a driver's license, a passport or certain student and local government identifications.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the measure, but lawmakers overrode it. The state NAACP and several local chapters immediately sued in federal court to halt enforcement, arguing that the law discriminates against Black and Latino voters in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act.

North Carolina's House speaker, Tim Moore, and Senate leader, Phil Berger — both Republicans — wanted to intervene in the federal case to defend the law alongside lawyers for the state, saying Stein would not adequately fight for the law. A federal judge said no, that lawmakers' interests were being adequately defended by lawyers in Stein's agency. A three-judge federal appeals court panel ruled for the lawmakers before the full federal appeals court reversed the decision, ruling 9-6 that lawmakers should not be allowed to intervene.

Berger praised the Supreme Court ruling, saying that previous opposition by Stein and Cooper to voter ID had resulted in “intentionally sandbagging” the law’s defense.

“North Carolinians overwhelmingly support voter ID, and they deserve nothing less than the strongest representation from those who would uphold the will of the voters and our constitution, not a tepid defense by an attorney general who has a record of opposing voter ID,” Moore said in a news release.

A spokesperson for the attorney general's office, Nazneen Ahmed, wrote in an email that Stein “has and will continue to vigorously defend state law” and did not formally oppose the legislators’ efforts to join in the defense. In a legal brief to the justices, Stein and other state lawyers wrote that respect needed to be given to the executive branch’s powers to defend the state in court.

As for the law itself, it was initially blocked by the judge in the case, who said it was “impermissibly motivated, at least in part, by discriminatory intent.” But the three-judge appeals panel reversed her decision and sent it back to U.S. District Court, where a trial has yet to start.

In litigation in state court, judges struck down the law as tainted by racial bias. North Carolina's Supreme Court has said it will take up the case, but no date has been set for oral arguments.

Separately, North Carolina's highest court has also already heard arguments in a lawsuit over whether the constitutional amendment mandating voter ID should have been allowed on the November 2018 ballot in the first place. A state judge had ruled that the GOP-controlled legislature lacked authority to put the amendment and one other on the ballot because lawmakers had been elected from racially biased districts two years earlier. That decision was later overturned on appeal before going to the state's highest court, where a ruling is pending.

___

Robertson reported from Raleigh, North Carolina.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Supreme Court rules for GOP lawmakers in voter ID case
The Supreme Court is giving Republican legislative leaders in North Carolina a win in an ongoing fight over the state’s latest photo identification voting law
10:19AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Biden praises Wounded Warriors as the 'spine of America'
President Joe Biden welcomed members of the Wounded Warriors Project to the White House for the group's annual solider ride
10:16AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Russians advance on war's front line in eastern Ukraine
Ukrainian authorities say Russia's military captured two villages in eastern Ukraine and were vying for control of a key highway in a continued offensive on the frontline
10:01AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
1/6 panel to hear of Trump's pressure on Justice Department
The Jan. 6 committee will hear from former Justice Department officials who faced down a relentless pressure campaign from Donald Trump over the presidential election results
5:07AM ( 5 hours ago )
Asian stocks mixed after Wall St declines on growth worries
Asian stock markets are mixed after Wall Street edged lower amid fears higher interest rates will chill global economic activity
12:14AM ( 10 hours ago )
1/6 panel to hear of Trump's pressure on Justice Dept.
The Jan. 6 committee will hear from former Justice Department officials who faced down a relentless pressure campaign from Donald Trump over the presidential election results
12:08AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Ginni Thomas responds to 1/6 panel, hearings stretch to July
The House's Jan. 6 committee plans to continue its public hearings into July as its investigation of the Capitol riot deepens
8:22PM ( 14 hours ago )
Gun debate a side note in hearings on Uvalde shooting
The first public hearings in Texas looking into the Uvalde school massacre have centered on law enforcement blunders, school building safety and mental health
7:52PM ( 14 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: How Biden's proposed gas tax holiday would work
Facing stubbornly high gas prices that average about $5 a gallon nationwide, President Joe Biden has urged Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months
7:13PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Biden praises Wounded Warriors as the 'spine of America'
President Joe Biden welcomed members of the Wounded Warriors Project to the White House for the group's annual solider ride
10:16AM ( 8 minutes ago )
3 summits offer test of Western unity, dominated by Ukraine
Three consecutive summits over the next week will test Western resolve to support Ukraine and the extent of international unity as rising geopolitical tensions and economic pain cast an increasingly long shadow
9:59AM ( 25 minutes ago )
WHO considers declaring monkeypox a global health emergency
As the World Health Organization convenes its emergency committee to consider if the spiraling outbreak of monkeypox warrants being declared a global emergency, some experts say WHO’s decision to act only after the disease spilled into the West could entrench the inequities that arose between rich and poor countries during the coronavirus pandemic
9:48AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Wall Street's bubble may be gone, but stocks can still fall
This year's sell-off for Wall Street means stocks no longer look to be in a dangerously overvalued bubble, as some critics had warned
9:45AM ( 39 minutes ago )
US markets higher as Fed chief addresses Congress again
Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street Thursday
9:41AM ( 43 minutes ago )