The New Jim Crow was just validated in North Carolina by a Republican Bush appointed Judge. Is it any wonder they are so desperate to maintain their 5 Thugs in Robes majority on the Supreme Court?
Thomas Schroeder said the state’s strict new voting law did not unfairly prevent black voters from casting ballots.
A judge in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, ruled Monday night that the state’s strict new voting law is constitutional, delivering a major win for conservatives who have sought to tighten laws across the country, and dealing a blow to efforts to stop those laws.
Judge Thomas Schroeder’s opinion—included in a massive, 485-page ruling—upheld the full swath of HB 589. Passed by the Republican-dominated General Assembly in 2013, the law changed a slew of North Carolina’s voting rules, including reducing early voting, eliminating same-day registration, banning out-of-precinct voting, and ending pre-registration for 16-year-olds. Perhaps most prominently, the bill instituted a requirement that voters show photo ID to cast a ballot.
Legislators and other proponents of the bill argued that the voter-ID law was a commonsense measure, and that it and other changes were needed to prevent fraudulent voting. The law’s opponents, meanwhile, pointed that there were practically no documented cases of voter fraud in the state, and argued that the changes would disproportionately affect poor and minority voters in the Old North State—voters who are more likely to vote Democratic, which they argued was not a coincidence. Much of the trial focused on whether there was real evidence of fraud, and whether the law actually disadvantages minorities. Both sides brought a barrage of experts to back their view.
Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that while North Carolina had been on the progressive end of the spectrum of voting, the new rules were simply retrenchment and were constitutional. He said the plaintiff—a group that included the North Carolina NAACP, the Justice Department, and others—“failed to show that such disparities will have materially adverse effects on the ability of minority voters to cast a ballot and effectively exercise the electoral franchise.”
Schroeder’s decision to uphold the law was not unexpected. The plaintiffs have already vowed to appeal the decision to a federal appeals court….
The voting law was passed shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down a crucial section of the Voting Rights Act that required certain states and jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination to receive “pre-clearance” from the Justice Department before changing their voting laws. While Republicans had been considering changes already, the ruling allowed them to expand their ambition. “Now we can go with the full bill,” Senator Tom Apodaca, chairman of the rules committee, said at the time.