RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A federal appeals court has found that a North Carolina voter ID law was enacted "with discriminatory intent" and must be blocked.
An opinion issued Friday by a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond reverses a lower-court's ruling that had upheld the law.
The 2013 rewrite to voting laws in North Carolina required photo identification to cast in-person ballots and made other changes.
The U.S. Justice Department, state NAACP, League of Women Voters and others sued the state, saying the restrictions violated the remaining provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act and the Constitution.
NCDP Statement on Voter ID Court Ruling:
"The North Carolina Democratic Party applauds this decision to restore voting rights to disenfranchised North Carolina voters. It's no surprise the court has ruled that the Republican General Assembly is once again guilty of government overreach. Governor McCrory and the GOP want to restrict ballot access because they know they can't win on their record of public education funding cuts and hurting our state's economy by passing their discrimination law, HB2. We look forward to the chance to elect new leadership in November to put North Carolina back on track."
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Statement:
“I am pleased that the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has struck down a law that the court described in its ruling as “one of the largest restrictions of the franchise in modern North Carolina history.” As the court found, this law was passed with discriminatory intent. It targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision” – imposing stringent ID requirements, reducing same-day registration and constraining out-of-precinct voting to place barriers between citizens and the ballot box. And it sent a message that contradicted some of the most basic principles of our democracy. The ability of Americans to have a voice in the direction of their country – to have a fair and free opportunity to help write the story of this nation – is fundamental to who we are and who we aspire to be. Going forward, the Department of Justice will continue our work to protect that sacred right for all.”