The GOP majority in North Carolina is moving to pass a series of laws in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling striking down part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, sparking outrage from civil rights activists. The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that North Carolina Republicans plan to adopt stricter voter identification laws. The report also said the GOP is pushing to end the state’s early voting laws, Sunday voting and same-day voter registration. The Supreme Court ruled a week ago that states no longer can be judged by voting discrimination that went on decades ago. In a 5-4 ruling, the justices said the Voting Rights Act’s requirement that mainly Southern states undergo special scrutiny before changing their voting laws is based on a 40-year-old formula that is no longer relevant to changing racial circumstances.
“Congress — if it is to divide the states — must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions. It cannot rely simply on the past,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority, which was composed of the court’s conservative-leaning justices.
The ruling immediately reignited state battles over voter ID laws in North Carolina and elsewhere, including Texas, where Attorney General Gregg Abbott has said that the state is now free to enact voter ID laws, as well as to redraw redistricting maps.
“With today’s decision, the state’s voter ID law will take effect immediately,” Mr. Abbott announced after the ruling. “Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government.”