Gov. Pat McCrory has every right to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision regarding the legislature’s discriminatory election law, as he did Monday, But he should drop his unwise request. The Fourth Circuit has already spoken loudly and clearly on this. But McCrory wants provisions of the legislature’s rejected law to be reinstated for the coming November election as lawyers for him, legislative leaders and other state officials craft an appeal. The key provisions they want reinstated are requiring the legislature’s chosen forms of ID to vote and reducing early voting to 10 days rather than 17.
Chief Justice John Roberts has responded by asking for a written response from those who sued to overturn the law. We trust they’ll make their case eloquently: The Fourth Circuit ruling was correct. And pivoting back to the restrictive provisions just weeks after they were struck down would create an unjust nightmare of confusion for poll workers and voters.
The lawyers for McCrory and company argue that altering the law would create voter confusion weeks before the election in North Carolina. But we contend just the opposite: With the election less than three months away and elections officials already scrambling to respond to the Fourth Circuit’s righteous decision and educate voters about it, it would be lunacy to pivot back to the bad provisions. Poll workers and voters need time to prepare for a smooth process.