The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear, for purely procedural reasons, the state of North Carolina’s appeal of a decision striking down its Voter ID law. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote (pdf) that the decision had nothing to do with the merits of the case but instead “the blizzard of filings over who is and who is not authorized to seek review in this Court.”

In July 2016, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state acted with discriminatory intent – “target[ing] African-Americans with almost surgical precision – when it designed the photo identification restrictions and several other limitations on voting. Along with Voter ID, the North Carolina assembly reduced the days for early voting, eliminated same-day voter registration, ended out-of-precinct voting and eliminated the pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds when obtaining their driver’s licenses.

Last year, the state of North Carolina, its then-governor, its board of elections and members of that board in their official capacities petitioned for review of the Fourth Circuit’s decision. In January, Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein, both Democrats, took office.

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