Under the Dome

NC election law case to get quick review

A federal court ruling has approved the state’s Voter ID law, but an appeal may brings a different result.
A federal court ruling has approved the state’s Voter ID law, but an appeal may brings a different result.

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a quick review of the recent ruling on North Carolina’s election law overhaul.

In an order filed on Thursday, Clerk Patricia S. Connor stated that attorneys should have all their briefs submitted to the appellate court by June 14.

Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California-Irvine who has been following the case, said it was possible that under such a schedule a hearing could be held in July and a ruling issued before the November general elections.

But most expect any ruling to be challenged up to the U.S. Supreme Court, and what would happen there is unclear.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder issued a 485-page ruling that upheld numerous changes to North Carolina’s election law.

Schroeder rejected challengers’ arguments that it was unconstitutional to require voters to show one of six photo identification cards to cast a ballot because it put a greater burden on black, Latino and young voters.

Additionally, the law curbed the number of early voting days, banned people from registering to vote and cast a ballot on the same day and prohibits people from voting outside their own precinct on election day.

A day after the ruling, the ACLU, League of Women Voters, NAACP and others announced plans to appeal.

Legal analysts who have reviewed Schroeder’s ruling say the judge went to great length to lay out facts in the case and that appellate judges usually give deference to the lower court on such matters.

The challengers said Tuesday they thought they had found grounds to appeal without elaborating on their plan.

Anne Blythe: 919-836-4948, @AnneBlythe1

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