by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The latest print edition of National Review devotes the following blurb to North Carolina’s 2013 election law:
In 2013, North Carolina passed a law requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID, ending same-day registration, and shortening the length of early voting from 17 days to ten. The Left rent its garments — Hillary Clinton called it an “assault on voting rights” — and foretold mass disenfranchisement. It never happened. In 2010, before North Carolina’s law, 38.5 percent of blacks in North Carolina voted in the year’s midterms; in 2014, with the law in effect, it was 41.1 percent. Nonetheless, the Fourth Circuit has swatted down the law, going out of its way to ignore evidence, impugn the motives of North Carolina’s legislature, and concoct specious legal rationales to reach its verdict. The Left’s ultimate quarry is Shelby County v. Holder, the 2013 Supreme Court decision that made North Carolina’s law possible by striking down part of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. That section required jurisdictions that had a history of voter suppression as of the early 1970s to receive federal permission for any changes to election procedures. Given the strong provisions that remain in place to protect voting rights, pretending that the decision began a downhill march back to literacy tests and poll taxes is sheer demagoguery. Voter-ID laws have longstanding legal precedent, broad popular support, and ample justification. That is why the Left is turning to the courts, the self-appointed legislatures of last resort, to quash them.