North Carolina Supreme Court Strikes Down Reasonable Voter ID Law on Partisan Grounds
The assault on voter ID in North Carolina continues.
On Friday, December 16, 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in Holmes v. Moore, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of North Carolina’s law requiring photo ID to vote.
Lawyers Democracy Fund filed an amicus brief in this case at the Supreme Court in support of the challenged photo ID law. In its brief, LDF took time to compare North Carolina’s photo ID law to photo ID laws used in other states that have been upheld in state and federal courts. After showcasing just how lenient North Carolina’s photo ID law is compared to these other valid laws, LDF argued the Court should uphold the law.
Unsurprisingly, the North Carolina Supreme Court disagreed and struck down the state’s photo ID law after concluding it was enacted with racially discriminatory purpose:
“Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s final judgment and order and hold that S.B. 824 violates article I, section 19 of the North Carolina Constitution because the law was enacted with discriminatory intent to disproportionately disenfranchise and burden African-American voters in North Carolina.”
The three dissenting justices disagreed, arguing that nothing in the record showed the photo ID law was enacted with discriminatory intent and that North Carolina’s photo ID law was entirely reasonable under recent judicial precedent, precedent that the majority allegedly ignored in its analysis.
This is just the latest assault on voter ID by the North Carolina Supreme Court. In August, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a bizarre opinion cutting at North Carolina’s 2018 constitutional amendment to require photo ID to vote. This amendment was overwhelmingly approved by the voters. Now the statute implementing this constitutional amendment has been struck down by the same court.
Voter ID laws are incredibly popular among voters, including 97% of Republicans, 84% of Independents, 53% of Democrats, and 60% of African American voters for how they boost confidence in the integrity of elections. Reasonable voter ID laws like North Carolina’s should be upheld, not struck down for partisan gain.