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Tags: supreme court | north carolina | voter id | law

SCOTUS Rules North Carolina GOP Lawmakers Can Defend Voter ID Law

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Supreme Court building (Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 23 June 2022 11:26 AM EDT

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that North Carolina Republican lawmakers can intervene in litigation to defend a state voting law.

The justices decided 8-1 in Berger v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP that the speaker of the state House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the state Senate are entitled to intervene in litigation challenging the state's voter ID law.

Lower federal courts had blocked state Republican Senate leader Phil Berger and Republican House Speaker Tim Moore from taking part in the suit.

Berger argued that North Carolina's Legislature — with a GOP-majority — should be allowed to step in to advocate for a voter ID law in court because Josh Stein, the state's Democrat attorney general, allegedly wasn't doing enough to defend the statute.

Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the court's opinion, which reversed a decision by the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

"Through the General Assembly, the people of North Carolina have authorized the leaders of their legislature to defend duly enacted state statutes against constitutional challenge," Gorsuch wrote. "Ordinarily, a federal court must respect that kind of sovereign choice, not assemble presumptions against it.

"Having satisfied the terms of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2), North Carolina's legislative leaders are entitled to intervene in this litigation."

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the lone dissenter.

"The Court's conclusion that state respondents inadequately represented petitioners' interests is a fiction that the record does not support," Sotomayor wrote. "In addition, the Court's armchair hypothesizing improperly displaces the District Court's firsthand experience in managing this litigation.

"States are entitled to structure themselves as they wish and to decide who should represent their interests in federal litigation. State law may not, however, override the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by requiring federal courts to allow intervention by multiple state representatives who all seek to represent the same state interest that an existing state party is already capably defending."

North Carolina judges on Sept. 17 struck down the state's photo voter identification, agreeing with minority voters that the law was rushed and intentionally discriminated against Black voters.

Two of the 3 Superior Court judges declared the December 2018 law was unconstitutional, even though it was designed to implement a photo voter ID mandate added to the North Carolina Constitution in a referendum just weeks earlier.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that North Carolina Republican lawmakers can intervene in litigation to defend a state voting law.
supreme court, north carolina, voter id, law
386
2022-26-23
Thursday, 23 June 2022 11:26 AM
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