BALTIMORE – The NAACP released the following statement regarding the US Supreme Court’s decision to decline to review North Carolina’s racially discriminatory voter ID law.
Today the United States Supreme Court declined the invitation of certain state officials in North Carolina to review and overturn the Fourth Circuit’s unanimous conclusion that the State of North Carolina enacted a bevy of voting restrictions in 2013 with the intent to suppress the participation of African American voters in the electoral system.
Whatever the reasons for the Supreme Court’s decision, its undeniable effect is to let stand the Fourth Circuit’s damning conclusion that state officials intentionally sought to keep certain of their fellow citizens from voting by imposing photo identification requirements, restrictions on early voting, and other voting and voter registration limitations known to have a disproportionately negative impact on communities of color.
“The decision by the Supreme Court to refuse to revive an intentionally racist law designed to suppress the vote of African Americans, Latinos and others far too often outside of the halls of power; represents a powerful truth, that democracy rise above partisan politics,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks.
“We must begin to closely review and continually challenge any attempt by states who viewed the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act as an opportunity to deny democracy as opposed to expand it. Last year, the NAACP went to court nine times around the nation to fight to expand democracy when others sought to limit it, and were successful each time. Wherever there is an obstruction of the vote or a suppression of the vote, you will find us there fighting the same fight for all Americans,” he added.
While today’s decision represents a victory for justice and democracy, it also constitutes a sobering reminder that state-sanctioned racism remains alive and well in our country. The NAACP and its more than 2000 units across the country will challenge undemocratic voting restrictions whenever and wherever they occur.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of the NC NAACP State Conference argues that today’s victory is a powerful moment in the fight against voter suppression.
"Today we experience a victory for justice that is unimaginably important for African Americans, Latinos, all North Carolinians, and the nation” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, the lead organizational plaintiff in the case.
“The highest Court in the land has rejected the N.C. General Assembly’s improper efforts to inject cynical politics into the Supreme Court’s docket, and instead embraced the sound judgment of the Fourth Circuit, which found that this General Assembly enacted voting laws with discriminatory intent.
"The Court’s rejection today of the N.C. General Assembly’s leadership’s position tells the people of North Carolina and across the country that the right to vote unencumbered by expansive restrictions or by racist politicians or racist policies is fundamental, and that under the laws of the land, it will be upheld. This is a great victory for North Carolina and for the nation.”