Voting rights expert: NC GOP tried to block black voters with ‘almost surgical precision’
On Saturday’s edition of MSNBC’s The Reid Report, journalist and voting rights expert Ari Berman told host Joy Reid that North Carolina Republicans got caught trying to actively disenfranchise black voters in the state.
On Friday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Republican state legislators deliberately and openly sought to block black voters from voting with the law, which was passed in 2013.
Berman wrote in The Nation that the North Carolina law “required strict voter ID to cast a ballot, cut a week of early voting and eliminated same-day voter registration, out of precinct voting and pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds.”
“Today the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated these restrictions, which it said ‘targeted African Americans with almost surgical precision’ in violation of the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment,” he said.
“(T)hey did so just a month after the Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act,” Berman told Reid Saturday. “John Roberts said it was a thing of the past. The Fourth Circuit said all of these things were meant to target black voters.”
“Republicans in North Carolina targeted all the methods that African-Americans had used successfully: early voting, same day voter registration,” Berman went on. “These are things that allowed Barack Obama to win North Carolina in 2008 by a very small margin. That’s why the court found that this was intentional discrimination, that the North Carolina legislature knew black voters were going to be the target and that’s why they did it. It wasn’t about stopping voter fraud.”
Watch the video, embedded below:
(Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly quoted Berman as saying the court found “intentional criminal discrimination.”)