Cooper, Stein should withdraw brief on voter ID appeal
Concerning, “AG Stein is right to use discretion,” I was intrigued by Will Farris calling the kettle black.
It’s not surprising Farris’ opinion was also half-cited and misguided in details. Fact is, not much point in soliciting advice from a senator as fact witness attacking N.C.’s integrity statutes and a liberal AG who admittedly refused to defend the laws of his state at the time. In addition, Attorney General Josh Stein is required to defend the N.C. Constitution, not interpret it.
In April 2016, addressing appeals by William Barber’s NAACP, the Justice Department and the ACLU, a judge ruled the voter ID law constitutional. Federal Judge Thomas Schroeder wrote that the plaintiff failed to show such disparities will have materially adverse efforts on the ability of minority voters to cast a ballot and effectively exercise the electoral franchise. Included was a massive, 485-page ruling which upheld the full swath of HB 589.
In reaching his decision, a two-part trial spanned 21 days. He considered the testimony of 21 expert witnesses and 112 other witnesses and more than 25,000 pages for the record. Judge Schroeder said the state had provided “legitimate state interest” in making the changes and the challengers failed to demonstrate that the law was unconstitutional.
Nevertheless, during this Obama administration era, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law stating it found that the law was adopted with “discriminatory intent.” I wonder if they bothered to read Judge Schroeder’s extensively researched ruling. This politically correct decision deserves the benefit of appeal by a higher court.
Stein definitely needs to use discretion considering the thin ice he’s treading on. He, along with Governor Cooper, is practicing self-serving politics and not the best interest of most North Carolinians in attempting to block this appeal, not the mention the unethical repercussions.
North Carolina’s appeal of this decision should have its day in court. Voter ID is a nationwide issue here to stay. Stein and Cooper could save themselves embarrassment and North Carolinians money to withdraw their brief filed before the U.S. Supreme Court.