by Anna Manning
Carolina Journal’s Dan Way reports:
Lawmakers are developing rules for the freshly passed voter ID constitutional amendment. But nobody believes the law will take effect without a pitched court battle.
One voting law expert has a suggestion.
“I would recommend that the state legislature include a provision in any enabling legislation that gives the legislature the power to appoint a private lawyer as a special assistance attorney general who will have total authority — without supervision by the attorney general — to defend any lawsuits filed against the voter ID law and/or referendum,” Hans von Spakovsky told Carolina Journal on Monday, Nov. 26.
Von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation, and a former member of the Federal Elections Commission, has been a critic of state Attorney General Josh Stein’s refusal to defend a previous voter ID law. Von Spakovsky thinks the law was constitutional, and supports other voter integrity actions.
Greg Wallace, constitutional law professor at Campbell Law School, told CJ on Monday:
“If I were the North Carolina General Assembly I would get that Supreme Court decision upholding voter ID in Indiana, and I would study that decision, and the restrictions that were upheld very carefully, and that’s what I would enact,” Greg Wallace, a constitutional law professor at Campbell Law School, told CJ Monday. Rules for provisional voting, and an easy method to obtain voter identification should be part of the package.
“The North Carolina General Assembly — I’ll say this on the record — has a bad habit of going too far. I think that they need to use that [Indiana] decision as a safe harbor, and essentially copy the types of regulations that were in place for voter ID there,” said Wallace.
He thinks a lawsuit will be filed challenging whatever is passed.
“The reason it’s going to be challenged is because the people challenging it believe they have a favorable number of judges in the 4th Circuit who would strike it down,” Wallace said. He thinks the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals would find some reason to strike down any voter ID law, even if it’s tailored as narrowly as the Indiana law.
Wallace said the liberal-leaning 4th Circuit could disregard precedent, wagering the Supreme Court is tired of taking up voter ID challenges. Should the justices fail to act, Wallace said, they would undermine public confidence in judicial integrity.
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