Huge Win After Republican Lawmakers Targeted African American Voters 'With Almost Surgical Precision'
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that a North Carolina voter ID law is unconstitutional, citing Republican lawmakers' "discriminatory intent" in enacting it.
The Court noted that the day after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a vital portion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, effectively making it impotent, the top Republican lawmaker in the state "announced an intention to enact what he characterized as an 'omnibus' election law," as Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner points out via Twitter:
Breaking: The 4th Circuit strikes down NC voting restrictions b/c they were passed with discriminatory intent. pic.twitter.com/uhWXx4QBAMâ€” Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) July 29, 2016
The 4th Circuit's ruling notes that the GOP has "rarely enjoyed African American support," and subsequently "enacted legislation that restricted voting in five different ways, all of which disproportionately affected African Americans."
That legislation, the Court ruled, was enacted after lawmakers "requested data on use, by race, of various voting practices."
The Court concludes "the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent."
The ruling is here.
UPDATE I: 1:12 PM EDT -
From the ruling:
Chastising the lower court, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals writes:
The record makes clear that the historical origin of the challenged provisions in this statute is not the innocuous back-and-forth of routine partisan struggle that the State suggests and that the district court accepted. Rather, the General Assembly enacted them in the immediate aftermath of unprecedented African American voter participation in a state with a troubled racial history and racially polarized voting. The district court clearly erred in ignoring or dismissing this historical background evidence, all of which supports a finding of discriminatory intent.
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