Today the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed decisions of the North Carolina Federal District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in consolidated cases challenging sweeping restrictions on voting rights enacted by the North Carolina legislature. We are heartened by the Appellate Court’s decision today, which, taken with a similar decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which covers Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, constitutes a significant turn against racial discrimination in electoral politics. Today’s opinion states that:
“In evaluating the massive record in this case, the court issued extensive factual findings. We appreciate and commend the court on its thoroughness. . . . But, for some of its findings, we must conclude that the district court fundamentally erred. In holding that the legislature did not enact the challenged provisions with discriminatory intent, the court seems to have missed the forest in carefully surveying the many trees. This failure of perspective led the court to ignore critical facts bearing on legislative intent, including the inextricable link between race and politics in North Carolina. . . Faced with this record, we can only conclude that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the district court to the contrary and remand with instructions to enjoin the challenged provisions of the law.”
Today’s decision is a victory for voting rights and for democracy.
Posted by Theodore M. Shaw (Ted) on Fri. July 29, 2016 2:43 PM
Amicus Curiae, Race Discrimination, Voting Rights