The North Carolina Court of Appeals ordered a preliminary injunction of North Carolina’s voter ID law in a decision released today (Holmes v. Moore, COA 19-762). The General Assembly enacted the current voter ID law after voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2018 requiring voter ID. That amendment required the General Assembly to enact laws governing photo ID for voting. A group of plaintiffs sued to block the voter ID law. The plaintiffs alleged that the voter ID law violates the constitution because it was enacted with racially discriminatory intent and intentionally discriminates against voters of color.
Today’s decision ordered a preliminary injunction halting the voter ID requirements until a final decision is made in the case. The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs have a likelihood of success on the merits of the case and that irreparable harm would result if the law took effect before a final decision. The Court of Appeals relied on the legislature’s history with this voter ID law and past voter ID laws to conclude that the General Assembly was motivated by discriminatory intent rather than the constitutional amendment’s directive that the General Assembly pass voter ID laws.
“If the courts always look back to previous attempts to pass voter ID laws and say that because those were unconstitutional so is this one, no voter ID law will ever survive a legal challenge,” said Jeanette Doran, NCICL’s President and General Counsel. “That subverts the will of the voters. People should be deeply troubled by that.”
President and General Counsel Jeanette Doran is available to answer media questions about the impact of the decision and to discuss the problems with it. Jeanette can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-332-2319