RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC NAACP State Conference and six branches of the NC NAACP representing voters from across the state today filed suit in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of North Carolina under the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution challenging the North Carolina General Assembly’s passage of a new discriminatory photo ID law.
“This is a brazen effort by a lame-duck, usurper legislature to once again legislate voter suppression,” said Irv Joyner, Legal Redress Chair of the NC NAACP and counsel for the plaintiffs. “This law is designed to suppress the votes of people of color. The federal courts have seen through this legislature’s attempts to do this before and we are confident that they will see through this current attempt, as well.”
“Photo voter ID is never justified,” said Rev. Spearman, President of the NC NAACP. “It is always discriminatory and immoral and has been the long-sought after voter suppression goal of this extremist legislature. We are called upon once again to defend the sacred right to vote and we will not back down.”
“Armed with the same information that led to the discriminatory bill struck down by the courts in 2016, the lame-duck General Assembly did it again,” said Kirkland & Ellis’s Dan Donovan, co-counsel for the Plaintiffs. “Since the last voting bill was struck down, the legislature still has not identified any problem with the voting process that needed to be solved or that justifies the burden this photo ID requirement impose on voting.”
The NC NAACP requests the court for immediate relief, asking the Court to declare that the law violates federal law, and enjoin it from taking effect.
The NC NAACP and local branches are represented here by the non-profit racial justice organization, Forward Justice, Attorney Irving Joyner, and pro bono law firm counsel of Kirkland and Ellis LLP. Together this legal team served as counsel in NC NAACP v. McCrory on behalf of the NC NAACP and individual plaintiffs in the Federal challenge that invalidated the last iteration of Photo Voter ID and voting rights restrictions passed in 2013 as H.B. 589, in which the Fourth Circuit struck down as unconstitutional five racially discriminatory provisions of the 2013 “monster voter suppression law” (HB 589), after determining that the challenged provisions “target[ed] African Americans with almost surgical precision,” and “impose[d] cures for problems that did not exist.