The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned North Carolina’s voter-identification law Friday, acknowledging the state’s history of racial and voting discrimination.
Reversing a district court ruling in April, the 83-page opinion struck down the state’s use of a photo ID requirement and other provisions in its 2013 voter law — which included changes to early voting, pre-registration and same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting. The 4th Circuit includes Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina.
“...Intentionally targeting a particular race's access to the franchise because its members vote for a particular party, in a particular manner, constitutes discriminatory purpose,” Judge Dana Gribbon Motz said, writing for the court.
The 4th Circuit decided that the N.C. General Assembly used the 2013 voter ID law to “entrench itself," and that it engaged in intentional racial discrimination to do so.
For Theodore Shaw, a UNC law professor and director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights, the ruling represented a significant turning point for voter participation.
Shaw said the Court ultimately ruled that the state legislature created a solution to find a problem.
“I think it’s a good day for democracy,” he said. “It’s a good day for civil rights.”
‘Maligning our state’
N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory has already said there will be an immediate appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.