The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal to reinstate North Carolina's voter identification law, which a lower court said targeted African Americans "with almost surgical precision." The justices left in place the lower court ruling striking down the law's photo ID requirement and scaling back of early voting. The dispute is similar to the court fight over Texas' voter ID law, also struck down as racially discriminatory, report the AP. Republicans in both states moved to enact new voting measures after the Supreme Court in 2013 struck down a provision of the federal Voting Rights Act that required them to get advance approval before changing election laws. Voters, civil rights groups, and the Obama administration quickly filed lawsuits challenging the new laws.
"This law was exposed for exactly what it was: just another obvious solution in search of a problem," DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement. But "Republicans will continue to fight for common sense and constitutional voter ID measures, similar to what many other states already have," said North Carolina state GOP chair Robin Hayes. The North Carolina situation was complicated when Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein tried to withdraw the appeal, which was first filed when Republican Pat McCrory was governor. Chief Justice John Roberts said the political situation created uncertainty over who is authorized to seek review of the lower court ruling. Roberts cautioned Monday that the rejection is not a comment on the court's view about the substance of the law.