U.S. Supreme Court declines to review N.C. voting law | News

U.S. Supreme Court declines to review N.C. voting law

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The United States Supreme Court indicated Monday that it will not take up two key provisions of North Carolina's voting law that were struck down by the Fourth Circuit of Appeals last fall.

In October, the Fourth Circuit blocked provisions in the law that eliminate same-day voter registration and prohibit out-of-precinct votes from being counted. That ruling was stayed by the Supreme Court pending today's decision on petitions of appeal from state lawmakers.

The decision wasn't handed down in time for the midterm elections last November. But opponents of the voting law, who say it suppresses the votes of many different groups of people including minorities, are hopeful that the Supreme Court's denial of a review means the Fourth Circuit ruling will be allowed to stand permanently.

In July, a North Carolina district court will hold a trial on the full merits of the law.

"We are pleased the Fourth Circuit decision stands and it's a promising step toward a full trial on North Carolina's voter suppression law," said Penda D. Hair, the co-director of grassroots civil rights organizing group the Advancement Project. 'We are encouraged by the Supreme Court's decision today, committed to the fight for a just democracy in North Carolina and confident for another victory."

The Rev. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina state Conference of the NAACP, said the fight to make sure elections are "free, fair and accessible to all voters" continues.

"Other provisions of North Carolina's voter suppression law—including shortening the early voting period, implementation of strict photo ID requirement and the elimination of a successful pre-registration programs for 16-and 17-year-olds— also disproportionately hurt voters of color," Barber said. 

"We are ready to head to trial and make sure that all parts of this harmful law are overturned."


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