Federal judge upholds controversial North Carolina voter ID law
RALEIGH, N.C. – Lawsuits challenging changes to North Carolina’s election law failed to show it hampered the ability of minority voters to exercise political power, a federal judge ruled Monday in dismissing the cases.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder ruled against the U.S. Justice Department, the North Carolina NAACP chapter and named voters. They sued alleging the law was passed to discriminate against poor and minority voters in violation of the Constitution and U.S. Voting Rights Act.
While North Carolina had a sordid history of freezing black voters out of the political process, the plaintiffs didn’t show that the law hampered the ability of minority voters to exercise electoral politics, Schroeder said.
The plaintiffs “failed to show that such disparities will have materially adverse effects on the ability of minority voters to cast a ballot and effectively exercise the electoral franchise” as a result of the 2013 state law, Schroeder wrote. That argument was made more difficult after black voter turnout increased in 2014, he wrote.