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Federal judge upholds voter ID law in North Carolina

Beaudreaux

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Federal judge upholds voter ID law in North Carolina

While everyone was worrying about where North Carolinians would pee, this federal court ruling went relatively unnoticed.


A federal judge upheld a North Carolina law on Monday that requires voters to show certain forms of photo identification at the polls, in a key victory for Republicans in a presidential election year who say the law is needed to prevent fraud.

The case tested a central piece of broad voting restrictions passed after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that North Carolina and other states with a history of discrimination no longer needed federal approval for voting law changes affecting minorities.

In siding with Republican Governor Pat McCrory and other state officials in dismissing challenges to the law, U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder in Winston-Salem wrote in a 485-page ruling that North Carolina "has provided legitimate state interests for its voter-ID requirement and electoral system."

In sum, plaintiffs have failed to show that any North Carolinian who wishes to vote faces anything other than the 'usual burdens of voting,'" Schroeder wrote.

[...]

For those that care and would like to read it, here's a link to the actual ruling - https://publicinterestlegal.org/files/NC-voter-ID-opinion.pdf

The judge rips apart the Obama Administration's, and all the private sector plaintiff's, arguments against, and accusations regarding racial discrimination of, the voter ID law and the other changes that the law made. It's a very interesting read.

Here's a few quick examples:
Plaintiffs have characterized the bill as a “monster voter suppression law,” focusing on the fact that it emerged at fifty-seven pages. However, in truth, most of HB 589’s changes – some forty-two of the fifty-seven pages (74%) - have gone unchallenged in this case. Page 21

Meanwhile, while the mandate and preliminary injunction were stayed by the Supreme Court, North Carolina held its 2014 general election, the third election under SL 2013-381. Compared to the last comparable midterm general election, 2010, voter participation increased: among registered white voters, it increased from 45.7% to 46.8%; among registered African American voters, it increased from 40.4% to 42.2%; and among registered Hispanic voters, it increased from 19.9% to 20.5%. (Def. Ex. 309 at 66.) Not only did African American turnout increase more than other groups in 2014 with SL 2013-381 in place, but that general election saw the smallest white-African American turnout disparity in any midterm election from 2002 to 2014. Page 48

At trial, Plaintiffs featured Nadia Cohen, who could have pre-registered but was unable to do so because of SL 2013-381. Even without pre-registration, Ms. Cohen could have registered long before the 2014 general election, given that she turned eighteen before that election. She did not register for the 2014 general election because no one told her to do so and because, in her words, “honestly, voting is not my top priority throughout the year.” (Doc. 331 at 173.) At the time of trial she was enrolled to start college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall of 2015. The elimination of pre-registration did not cause Ms. Cohen to be unable to vote in 2014. Page 188

I could go on, but you should get the point by now. Plus, I don't want to spoil the fun of reading the judge absolutely dismember the arguments that we have heard for years as to why voter ID laws are discriminatory and disenfranchise voters.

Have fun - I did.
 

Chomsky

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Federal judge upholds voter ID law in North Carolina

While everyone was worrying about where North Carolinians would pee, this federal court ruling went relatively unnoticed.




For those that care and would like to read it, here's a link to the actual ruling - https://publicinterestlegal.org/files/NC-voter-ID-opinion.pdf

The judge rips apart the Obama Administration's, and all the private sector plaintiff's, arguments against, and accusations regarding racial discrimination of, the voter ID law and the other changes that the law made. It's a very interesting read.

Here's a few quick examples:






I could go on, but you should get the point by now. Plus, I don't want to spoil the fun of reading the judge absolutely dismember the arguments that we have heard for years as to why voter ID laws are discriminatory and disenfranchise voters.

Have fun - I did.
"Judge Thomas Schroeder in Winston-Salem wrote in a 485-page ruling ..."

485 pages! :doh

Can I assume this can be appealed to the SC, and they subsequently can decide as to whether they'll grant cert or not?
 

ludin

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"Judge Thomas Schroeder in Winston-Salem wrote in a 485-page ruling ..."

485 pages! :doh

Can I assume this can be appealed to the SC, and they subsequently can decide as to whether they'll grant cert or not?

US circuit court of appeals first then the SCOTUS after that which will end up in a 4-4 split.
 

Beaudreaux

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"Judge Thomas Schroeder in Winston-Salem wrote in a 485-page ruling ..."

485 pages! :doh

Can I assume this can be appealed to the SC, and they subsequently can decide as to whether they'll grant cert or not?

They can try to appeal it, but the court may not grant a hearing. The reason is what you pointed out in your post - 485 pages. Judge Thomas Schroeder was obviously trying make his ruling appeal-proof by covering as much detail as possible to support his ruling. With the exception of death penalty and life sentence cases, I don't believe that there is such as a thing as an automatic appeal. It's my experience that to appeal, the appealing side would have to demonstrate that the lower court made an error in law, hence the 485 pages of explanation.

Even if it does make it to the US Appeals Court, and then on to the SCOTUS, there's a good chance that it will not end in a 4-4 split because of all the reasons that Judge Schroeder detailed in his ruling.

I know that 485 pages is a long read when we're talking about such dry material to read, but his ruling and the reasons he gives are a true education in the differences regarding law versus ideological emotion. He takes the ideological emotion completely out of the equation, and rules based solely on the law, reality, and legal precedence.
 

Chomsky

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They can try to appeal it, but the court may not grant a hearing. The reason is what you pointed out in your post - 485 pages. Judge Thomas Schroeder was obviously trying make his ruling appeal-proof by covering as much detail as possible to support his ruling. With the exception of death penalty and life sentence cases, I don't believe that there is such as a thing as an automatic appeal. It's my experience that to appeal, the appealing side would have to demonstrate that the lower court made an error in law, hence the 485 pages of explanation.

Even if it does make it to the US Appeals Court, and then on to the SCOTUS, there's a good chance that it will not end in a 4-4 split because of all the reasons that Judge Schroeder detailed in his ruling.

I know that 485 pages is a long read when we're talking about such dry material to read, but his ruling and the reasons he gives are a true education in the differences regarding law versus ideological emotion. He takes the ideological emotion completely out of the equation, and rules based solely on the law, reality, and legal precedence.
I suspect you have reasonable practical knowledge of the law, so I'll respect your opinion here.

But playing Devil's advocate, it would seem the more a judge writes, the more there's room to challenge. At least that's the way I personally approach business and legal matters, i.e. "I tell them only what the need to know"!

Since you speak so highly of the ruling, yes I will take a look at it; I was impressed by your knowledge, resources, and opinion of 'things nuclear' in your power plant decommissioning thread a few months back, so I think this ruling warrants at least a glance.

This case is one of the more important to recently come up, IMO. It speaks to the very heart of the democratic process.
 
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