Tuesday, April 26, 2016
The value of activist judges
As everybody knows, their value is revealed when they bend and twist the laws to make rulings that you approve of. In North Carolina, those who want to keep the pesky coloreds and poors from voting appear to have gotten their wish in the latest ruling from a Bush appointed activist judge in the North Carolina District Court.
A federal judge on Monday upheld sweeping Republican-backed changes to election rules, including a voter identification provision, that civil rights groups say unfairly targeted African-Americans and other minorities. The ruling could have serious political repercussions in a state that is closely contested in presidential elections.Needless to say, North Carolina Gov. Pat "Pee-Pee" McCrory is delighted by the ruling as it now makes his re-election possible, he hopes.
The opinion, by Judge Thomas D. Schroeder of Federal District Court in Winston-Salem, upheld the repeal of a provision that allowed people to register and vote on the same day. It also upheld a seven-day reduction in the early-voting period; the end of preregistration, which allowed some people to sign up before their 18th birthdays; and the repeal of a provision that allowed for the counting of ballots cast outside voters’ home precinct.
It also left intact North Carolina’s voter identification requirement, which legislators softened last year to permit residents to cast ballots, even if they lack the required documentation, if they submit affidavits.
The ruling could have significant repercussions in North Carolina, a state that Barack Obama barely won in 2008, and that the Republican Mitt Romney barely won four years later.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which sits in Richmond, Va., will be the first to consider an appeal, which the law’s opponents said they would pursue. If the Fourth Circuit or the Supreme Court does not intervene, the changes will be in force when voters go to the polls this autumn. North Carolina voters will also elect a governor in what is expected to be one of this year’s most competitive state races.
The ruling is an early signal of how federal judges might regard changes and challenges to voting laws in the aftermath of a 2013 Supreme Court decision that effectively eliminated a portion of the Voting Rights Act that had forced nine states, mostly in the South, to obtain advance federal approval before changing their election laws.
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