Time for GOP-leaders to drop irresponsible rhetoric, racially-motivated voter ID laws

On Friday, a state court struck down North Carolina’s voter ID law noting that the Republican-backed law, “was motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional intent to target African American voters.”

In the Holmes v. Moore case, two of the three trial judges declared the December 2018 law unconstitutional — making it the second time in five years that a court has ruled that the state’s Republican-controlled legislature’s endeavour to block voters from the ballot box through voter ID is racially discriminatory.

  • In 2016, a federal appeals court ruled against a different version of the Republican-backed law — stating that it had targeted Black voters “with almost surgical precision.”
  • Despite the law blatantly disenfranchising minority voters, Republicans — primarily House Speaker Tim Moore, who was a primary sponsor of the 2018 voter ID law — have continued to push for discriminatory laws and measures to prevent voters from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
  • “The ruling, along with witnesses’ testimony at trial, “highlighted how the state’s Republican-controlled legislature undeniably implemented this legislation to maintain its power by targeting voters of color,” stated Allison Riggs, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice co-executive director.

For years, Republicans have repeatedly used voter ID, racial gerrymandering and other tactics to rig the system in their favor. The recent ruling underscores that it’s time for NC Republicans to drop their racist tactics — racial discrimination will not be tolerated.

Bottom Line:

As a recent editorial states, “At a time when the Supreme Court and the federal courts have largely turned their back on the project of dismantling American racism, the North Carolina decision exemplifies the important role state courts can play in that struggle”.

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Alanna Joyner

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