North Carolina filed an emergency application Monday to the Supreme Court via Chief Justice John Roberts to halt some aspects of a ruling handed down by an appeals court last month that struck down Republican-passed voting restrictions in the state. The stay petition asks that portions of the ruling be put on hold for November’s election while the full case is appealed to the high court.
North Carolina is asking the Supreme Court to allow it to enforce its photo voter ID law, its cutbacks to early voting and its elimination of pre-registration. The petition did not include requests that its ban on same-day registration and prohibition of out-of-precinct be in effect in November’s election. All five provisions had been deemed discriminatory in their intent by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in late July. The decision was a reversal of a district court’s ruling that sided with the state.
“To our knowledge, that marks the first time in the past half century that a court of appeals has reversed a fact-finder’s finding that a State did not enact an election law with discriminatory intent, and the first time in history that a court has invalidated as intentionally discriminatory an election law that has been affirmatively found to have no discriminatory effect,” North Carolina said in its stay petition Monday. The state argued that there “is certainly a fair prospect that this Court will reverse the entirety of the decision,” but that in the interest of “preserving the status quo this close to an election” North Carolina was asking that only some of the provisions be enforced in November.
As UC-Irvine School of Law professor Rick Hasen noted on his Election Law blog, the state has apparently hired Paul Clement, a high-profile Washington D.C. attorney and former U.S. solicitor general. The state’s attorney general, Roy Cooper (D), who is running for governor, has refused to defend the law.
Read the full petition below: