North Carolina Supreme Court is correct to rehear Voter ID and Redistricting rulings | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Jim Stirling.

    The North Carolina Supreme court is scheduled to rehear two high-stakes election lawsuits on redistricting and voter ID. The State Supreme Court ruled on two different voter ID lawsuits last year: one regarding the constitutional amendment and the other regarding the law implementing voter ID passed by the state legislature. The court is only looking to rehear the case regarding the implementation law.

    While many left-wing actors, including Governor Cooper, have criticized the rehearings as stepping outside the judiciary's role, rehearing a case has precedents.

    Petitions to rehear are rarely used, but the court allows a request to rehear under rule 31 of North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedures. The qualifications are strict; the petition needs to be filed within fifteen days since the ruling was mandated and illustrate where the court may have errored in its decision in facts or law.

    The outgoing 4-3 Democratic majority expedited both cases late last year and ruled against legislative defendants just before the court moved to a 5-2 Republican majority. Democrats justified this uncommon tactic on the NC Supreme Court by citing "the need to reach a final resolution on the merits at the earliest possible opportunity." The problem with that argument is that these cases have no immediate impact. Legislative and congressional maps, alongside voter ID, had already been settled for the 2022 election year; the earliest either ruling could have an effect would not be until 2024. There was no legal justification for expediting the cases.

    While this alone justifies the court rehearing the cases, there are even more significant reasons why the court should have a second look at these rulings.

    The prior Supreme Court's decision to throw out the voter ID case hinges almost entirely on past cases against the North Carolina General Assembly. Instead of looking at the language of the law, the court assumed the legislators' intent and placed the burden of proof on the state as the defendant in the case.

    The voter ID law that the general assembly passed in 2018 is comprehensive and allows for various forms of ID, ranging from driver's licenses, state IDs, tribal IDs, to even student IDs from universities and community colleges. It also allows for religious objections, an exception to presenting an ID if the voter has "reasonable impediments, and the option to receive a provisional ballot should a voter fail to have any accepted form of ID on them. The court failed to consider these factors and wrongfully tried to create a narrative based on prior court rulings rather than the evidence before them.

    When it comes to redistricting, the issue comes from the court's lack of clarity in what is and is not a partisan gerrymander. In a ruling that can best be described as the legal equivalent of bring me a rock," the court gave vague qualifications and standards for determining a partisan gerrymander that effectively turned the State Supreme Court into a required body for all redistricting. With only vague standards by which to judge the maps, the prior Supreme Court ruling made it impossible for anyone, including court-appointed map drawers, to understand how to create compliant maps. This lack of standardization in the ruling meant the maps were judged under multiple criteria and ultimately subject to no consistent standard.

    The redistricting and voter ID cases were subject to numerous breaks in precedent in 2022. After winning in Wake County trial courts, plaintiffs, not the defendants, were the ones to file these appeals directly to the Supreme court, bypassing the Republican majority Court of Appeals.

    While it is rare for cases to be reheard, it is justifiable considering how the prior court handled them. Not only were both these cases fast-tracked through the courts before Democrats lost a majority, but they also broke from court precedents in numerous ways. These decisions by the outgoing Supreme Court seemed to come more from a political objective than a judicial philosophy.

Do you consider Election Integrity an issue of some real importance, or just another conspiracy theory interfering with Democratic Socialist political hegemony?
  No, complete access to everyone voting, even in a willy nilly manner, is more important than getting it right by limiting access to those that would commit Voter Fraud.
  Yes, the most inalienable right of real citizens of this Democratic Republic is the Right to Vote, and that right shall remain sacrosanct for perpetuity.
  Again, I don't vote and I don't care.
670 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?

Go Back

Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )

Five Ways to Reduce Your Tax Burden Statewide, John Locke Foundation Guest Editorial, Editorials, Government, Op-Ed & Politics, State and Federal Buckle Up, All Ye Unvaccinated!


Latest State and Federal

The Chicago Blackhawks will not take the ice for Sunday’s warm-ups wearing pride-themed jerseys, team sources told The Athletic.
A resident doctor who was training in family medicine not only had an alleged huge cache of child porn, but he also allegedly recorded children as young as 6 years old using a camera hidden in a bracelet as he examined them.
A lead Republican investigator now claims several members of the Biden family are involved in shady business ventures abroad, sharing in the past 24 hours a larger headcount than previously known.
If Donald Trump were to be indicted for having a tawdry tryst with a trollop, he should probably plead guilty post haste. But the case brought against him by the Manhattan district attorney’s office is not about whether or not he cheated on his wife with porn actress Stormy Daniels
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis launched a new initiative with 18 other states on Thursday to fight back against President Joe Biden’s woke environmental, social, corporate governance (ESG) agenda.


The John Locke Foundation is proud to announce the recent hiring of Kelly Lester and Kaitlyn Shepherd to its research department.
The Department of Defense released video footage Thursday morning of the incident in which two Russian fighter jets harassed a U.S. military drone over international waters — leading to a collision and the complete loss of the drone.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration has demanded that a liberal school system cut ties with allegedly Chinese Communist Party-linked groups, according to a letter obtained by The Daily Wire.
The N.C. Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court ruling allowing for a new motocross training center in rural Davidson County.
A federal tech agency recently caught risking the nation’s cybersecurity by violating rules and lying in the name of “equity” is dominated by a cabal of perpetually triggered leftists obsessed with politics and pronouns, a Daily Wire investigation shows.
The number of January 6 prosecutions could double if a newly revealed prediction by the Justice Department comes true.


Onslow County incident highlights the need for reforms at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association


Back to Top