With lawsuits pending in federal court on sweeping changes to North Carolina elections law, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review questions about two specific provisions dealing with same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting. The decision is just a step in a protracted legal process that began in 2013 when the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, registered Democrats and others challenged changes to voting procedures adopted by the Republican-led legislature. Because U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder has set a trial for July 2015 to hear arguments for and against constitutional questions about the 2013 changes, the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Monday has little impact.
The country’s highest court rejected the state’s appeal of an October decision by the Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found parts of the 2013 law should be provisionally blocked while litigation continues. But there are no elections scheduled between now and the summer trial date.
Now, the cases will be heard in full in July, rather than the lawsuits being broken up piecemeal with different parts of the challenges being argued and decided at different times.