by Dr. Andy Jackson
Director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity, John Locke Foundation
I wrote about two weeks ago that a three-judge panel in Wake Superior Court struck down the law granting convicted felons voting rights after they completed probation or parole on a 2-1 vote.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals stayed that decision today, meaning that voter registrations of felons still serving their sentences can not proceed until an appeal from legislative defendants is heard.
Sen. Warren Daniel (R – Avery, Burke, Caldwell), co-chair of the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee, was pleased with the decision and used the opportunity to take a swipe at Attorney General Josh Stein for refusing to immediately appeal the Superior Court Decision:
The decision to block the lower court’s ruling affirms that judges can’t just replace laws they don’t like with new ones. It also shows how false Attorney General Josh Stein’s purported reason was for refusing to defend the legislature in this case.
Legislative leaders had replaced lawyers from Stein’s North Carolina Department of Justice with their own lawyers after the NCDOJ lawyers refused to immediately appeal the lower court ruling.
In related news, McCrae Dowless was sentenced to six months in prison and a year of and one year of supervised release this week. If the lower court ruling reinstating felon voting rights is eventually upheld, Dowless will be eligible to vote in the 2022 general election.