The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the appeal of North Carolina’s voter ID law case, upholding a decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down the state’s stricter identification requirements. This comes as a shock to those who want to protect the integrity of elections.
The Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA) was enacted in 2013 to combat voter fraud in North Carolina by slashing practices that pose risk for abuse. Some of the most prominent measures of VIVA included reducing early voting from 17 to 10 days, eliminating preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, stopping same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting, and requiring photo ID to cast a vote.
All of these measures seem reasonable. But, like clockwork, liberal opponents of honest election policies attacked VIVA with accusations that the law was an act of “voter suppression” that targeted minorities.
But the facts surrounding the law don’t support the Democrat talking points. While the notion that minorities are somehow incapable of acquiring a government-issued photo ID is outlandish, the state of North Carolina still took the concern into consideration and issued free voter photo ID’s to anyone who wanted one.
In fact, less than 1 percent of Noth Carolina voters in the 2014 midterm elections did not have an acceptable official form of ID, according to data from the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
Furthermore, contrary to the belief that VIVA would suppress minority votes, the 2014 midterms saw an increase in voting among African Americans.
Despite these facts, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down VIVA in July 2016, invalidating its provisions just in time for the US Presidential Election. According to the court, VIVA targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision.”
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals was traditionally considered a highly conservative court. However, left-wing appointees have made it very liberal in recent years, as seen in other decisions such as the invalidation of Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage in 2014. The 4th Circuit Court is currently headed by Chief Justice Roger Gregory, a Bill Clinton appointee.
The Supreme Court could have decided the North Carolina voter ID law case in favor of honest elections, but chose not to. Chief Justice John Roberts stated that the decision was not due to the substance of the law, but rather because of politicall uncertainty regarding who was authorized to review the ruling.
“Given the blizzard of filings over who is and who is not authorized to seek review in this Court under North Carolina law, it is important to recall our frequent admonition that ‘the denial of a writ of certiorari imports no expression of opinion upon the merits of the case,’” Roberts said.
This decision will be a disappointment to North Carolina residents who wish to preserve the integrity of their elections. It also represents another case of liberal activist judges legislating from the bench.
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