(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – January 31, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released a statement announcing the filing of an amicus brief in support of North Carolina’s petition for a U.S. Supreme Court hearing regarding its voter identification reform package (North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. North Carolina).
“The Supreme Court has a golden opportunity to stop abuse of the Voting Rights Act in this case and beyond,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Earlier in this case, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals behaved as if it were a fact-finding trial court and left North Carolina vulnerable without its common-sense election integrity laws before the 2016 Election. Granting North Carolina’s petition will provide the State with the proper appellate review it was due last year.
“Second, the Court can put an end to the well-funded efforts to turn the Voting Rights Act into a partisan tool,” Adams added. “Unless the Court takes this case, the Voting Rights Act will be turned into a federal law to help Democrats win elections, not fix violations of civil rights.”
Below is a summary of observations made in support of North Carolina’s petition for Writ of Certiorari.
The trial court properly reviewed North Carolina’s voter ID package according to the Voting Rights Act. The brief notes that the NC law withstood two trials; was reviewed under a totality of circumstances; and was not subjected to simple statistical analyses to render a decision.
SCOTUS can contain the activist reading of the Voting Rights Act currently targeting NC and others. Activist plaintiffs have pushed and sometimes failed to convince lower courts that reforms like voter ID should be struck down unless states can prove the absence of any negative impact to a protected demographic. The Court has an opportunity in this case to set clear standards as to how such laws should be judged.
Plaintiffs are trying to apply erroneous standards to tear down the voter ID reform package. North Carolina’s reform package should be judged based on a suite of indicators whether its election integrity reforms are actually discriminatory, such as: actual impaired access to voting; minority disparate impacts; and demonstrable effects on electoral outcomes. Plaintiffs should not succeed solely based on presumptive statistical analyses. How the trial and appellate courts arrived at polar conclusions demonstrates the gulf in legal interpretations.
A copy of the brief, submitted on January 30, 2017 has been made available, here.
Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.