Federal judge upholds NC’s voter ID law

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It is a big win for proponents of North Carolina’s highly contested voter ID law.

It was upheld by a U.S. District Judge in a 485-page ruling.

“What the North Carolina legislature and Gov. McCrory signed off on here is unprecedented in the United States of America,” said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of NC.

North Carolina’s 2013 election law not only requires the use of a government-issued ID to vote, but also decreases the days of early voting and removes same-day registration as well as out of precinct voting.

“The implementation of voter ID actually educates and informs people more to get involved and actually increases voter turnout,” said Rep. David Lewis, (R) House Rules Chair.

While many legislators are happy with U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder’s decision to dismiss all claims against the law, others are severely disappointed.

“Judge Schroeder criticized these as convenience mechanisms but in reality there were a lot of them, they had been in place for a long time and North Carolina voters had come to rely on them,” said Allison Riggs with the Southern Coalition for Justice.

“This is going to have real burdens for real North Carolinians in 2016 if it remains in effect,” said Brook.

Something bigger than the decision itself is the reasoning behind the decision and how it will affect future rulings.

CBS North Carolina asked Campbell Law School’s constitutional law professor Gregory Wallace about that.

“I think the judge’s opinion in this case is so thorough and so well-laid out that it’s going to be very difficult for the 4th circuit to reverse this decision,” said Wallace.

The Fourth Circuit Court in Richmond, Virginia would be the next level of appeal, and is a court that has been democratically favored in years past.

But, Wallace said some of the facts laid out in Schroeder’s conclusion that the law is not discriminatory, just can’t be disputed.

“You cannot deny the fact that in 2014, under these new provisions, the participation of African Americans actually rose,” said Wallace.

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