Sunday, December 18, 2022

NC Supreme Court Strikes Down Voter Photo ID (Again!) and Orders New NC Senate Districts


Judge Robin Hudson

This happened Friday, but I've been on the road and am now in catch-up mode.

A lame-duck North Carolina Supreme Court (because two of its Democratic justices were defeated in November and will be off the bench come January) struck down two unconstitutional Republican laws.  Both decisions were 4-3 with all justices voting along partisan lines. 

The Republicans' newest version of the voter photo ID law was rushed through following the 2018 elections when the GOP lost its veto-proof super-majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. The first version of voter photo ID was struck down in Federal court. The second version suffered the same fate for the same reason, for imposing ID rules that intentionally discriminate against Black voters.

The other law struck down on Friday was the redistricting maps drawn earlier this year for the NC Senate (and specifically that body alone; the NC House maps were allowed to stand as redrawn). Associate Justice Robin Hudson wrote the majority opinion, and she reaffirmed that partisan gerrymandering violates free elections and incidentally took a pointed shot at the "independent legislature theory":

“We expressly and emphatically reaffirm the fundamental right of citizens to vote on equal terms enshrined within our Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, and this Court’s constitutional responsibility and authority to assess legislative compliance therewith.”


Mr. Dismal said...

No need for the new Republican majority on the Court to overturn this. The Republicans in the General Assembly will indeed redistrict, make them even more gerrymandered and worse for Democrats, and then -- THEN -- the new Republican majority on the court will uphold them. That's what will happen. Same with voter photo ID. The new court is going to uphold every bad thing that happens, right through 2028.

Wolf's Head said...

Seems superfluous since there is a case before the US Supreme Court about redistricting.