Federal judge upholds North Carolina's controversial voter ID law

Federal judge upholds North Carolina voter law
(Image credit: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder upheld a sweeping North Carolina voter law, dismissing challenges by the Justice Department, the NAACP's North Carolina chapter, the League of Women Voters, and several named plaintiffs. North Carolina's law, passed by Republicans after the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, requires voters to show one of six forms of ID and does away with same-day voter registration, voting out of precinct, and a week of early voting, electoral tools that critics say black voters use disproportionately to cast their ballots in the recent swing state.

Judge Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, acknowledged that North Carolina has a history of "significant, shameful past discrimination" against black voters, but said that "in North Carolina's recent history, however, certainly for the last quarter century, there is little official discrimination to consider." The plaintiffs failed to show that the law "will have materially adverse effects on the ability of minority voters to cast a ballot and effectively exercise the electoral franchise." If neither the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals nor the Supreme Court steps in, the law will be enforced in the November election. Gov. Pat McCrory (R), who's running for re-election this fall, welcomed the ruling, while the NAACP vowed to appeal.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.