Federal judge releases scathing opinion blocking North Carolina GOP from restricting voter access
Judge with gavel (via Shutterstock)

On Tuesday, a federal judge in North Carolina released a blistering opinion in NAACP v. Cooper, blocking the North Carolina GOP from enforcing its strict voter ID requirement and ordering state officials to inform voters that the requirement is not in effect for their upcoming elections.

District Judge Loretta Biggs wrote that there was profound evidence the measure was engineered with "discriminatory intent," pointing to the GOP's repeated efforts to gerrymander the state.

A previous voter ID law was struck down in 2016 after a federal appeals court ruled that the measure was designed to target the voting rights of African-Americans "with almost surgical precision," allowing only forms of ID that a disproportionate number of Black voters did not have and would struggle to obtain. The new law is virtually identical to the old one, with the only major difference that it was enacted by a constitutional amendment, rather than an act of the legislature. This, wrote Judge Biggs, was an attempted end-run by lawmakers to "circumvent" courts and "further entrench" themselves.