SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Republicans Defending Voter ID Laws Against Dems
The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on Thursday ruled 8-1 that Republican lawmakers can intervene in a court battle to defend North Carolina’s voter ID laws against Democrat officials.
In 2018, Republicans in North Carolina’s state legislature overrode a veto by Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper that amended the state’s constitution to declare that “voters offering to vote in person shall present photographic identification.”
In response, the North Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sued the governor and the state board of elections. In court, the board of elections was defended by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, who previously voted against voter ID laws while in the state Senate.
Republicans in the state legislature sought to intervene in the case, arguing that the state’s interests were not being properly represented, as the governor and attorney general have both opposed voter ID laws.
In an 8-1 decision, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, SCOTUS held that “North Carolina’s legislative leaders are entitled to intervene in this litigation.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented in the case.
The legislative leaders seek to give voice to a different perspective. Their “primary objective” is not clarifying which law applies. They are not burdened by misgivings about the law’s wisdom. If allowed to intervene, the legislative leaders say, they will focus on defending the law vigorously on the merits without an eye to crosscutting administrative concerns. And, they add, the differences between their interest and the Board’s in this case demonstrate why state law empowers them to participate in litigation over the validity of state legislation — alive as it is to the possibility that different branches of government may seek to vindicate different and valuable state interests. Perhaps recognizing all this, the Fourth Circuit itself allowed the legislative leaders to intervene in the appeal from the District Court’s preliminary injunction ruling….
Header featured image (edited) credit: SCOTUS/YouTube/CNN screen shot
Emphasis added by (TLB) editors
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