Federal Judge Upholds 'Discriminatory' NC Voter ID Law

North Carolina’s sweeping and controversial election reform law, HB 589, was upheld on Monday by a federal judge in Winston-Salem, prompting vows to appeal from the plaintiffs who allege that the legislation’s dramatic voting restrictions widely disenfranchise minority voters.

“The sweeping barriers imposed by this law undermine voter participation and have an overwhelmingly discriminatory impact on African-Americans. This ruling does not change that reality. We are already examining an appeal,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, in a statement.

Judge Thomas Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote (pdf) that the law’s controversial cutbacks on early voting, elimination of same-day registration and pre-registration for 17-year-olds, and notoriously strict voter ID requirement served a “legitimate state interest” by attempting to “detect and deter fraud.”

The hefty 485-page decision upheld all parts of the controversial law. The Guardian describes Schroeder’s rationale for his decision:

“This is our Selma,” proclaimed the Rev. William J. Barber II when the lawsuit was first filed in July 2015, as Common Dreams reported. Barber is a founder of the Moral Mondays movement and president of the North Carolina NAACP, which launched the suit against the state.