Politics

North Carolina voter ID trial delayed as Supreme Court examines case

A federal trial set for January on litigation challenging North Carolina’s voter photo identification law has been delayed while the U.S. Supreme Court weighs whether legislative leaders should be allowed to help defend the law in court.

The Supreme Court said last month it would consider the request of House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger to involve themselves in the case and defend the 2018 law along with state government attorneys.

The lawsuit was previously scheduled to go to trial in Winston-Salem on Jan. 24. In an order issued Thursday, presiding U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs said it makes sense to delay the start to avoid further confusion over voter ID. Otherwise, a Supreme Court ruling favoring GOP legislators could require another trial.

“While the court is mindful that parties have been preparing for trial, there is no reason that such preparation must go to waste,” Biggs wrote. No new starting date was set.

Berger and Moore have argued that state attorneys fronted by Attorney General Josh Stein, have not sufficiently represented North Carolina in defending the law. Biggs and the full U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals have rejected the GOP leaders’ requests.

The trial will focus on the underlying voter ID law, the topic of the race-bias lawsuit filed by the state NAACP and several local chapters. Other lawsuits are pending over the state’s voter ID mandate, which was approved by voters in November 2018 as a constitutional amendment and then formally written into law by the legislature. It’s currently not being enforced.

In September, a state judicial panel ruled that the law was unconstitutional. The North Carolina Supreme Court is hearing a third case challenging how legislators put the constitutional amendment on the ballot, a case that’s been slowed as recusal motions were filed against two state justices.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WASHINGTON POST

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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