Federal judge will block voter id law

This photo taken March 15, 2016, shows a NC Voter ID rules posted at the door of the voting station at the Alamance Fire Station in Greensboro, N.C. A federal appeals court on Friday, July 29, 2016, blocked a North Carolina law that required voters to produce photo identification and follow other rules disproportionately affecting minorities, finding that the law was intended to make it harder for blacks to vote in the presidential battleground state. (Andrew Krech/News & Record via AP)

RALEIGH — A federal judge appears poised to to halt North Carolina’s voter identification law again. The N.C. NAACP sued to stop the law in December of 2018 in federal court. On Dec. 3, 2019, the court held a hearing on the NAACP’s request to block the implementation of the law pending a full trial. In a docket entry in the case on Dec. 26, the court sided with the NAACP:

“Based on the State Board’s representation at the Preliminary Injunction hearing held December 3, 2019 that the Board plans a very large statewide mailing on December 31, 2019 to educate the voters on the Photo ID provisions of S.B 824, the Court hereby informs the parties that the Court will file an Order granting Plaintiffs’ request for injunction related to the Voter Photo ID and Ballot Challenge provisions of the Act the week of December 30, 2019.”

Judge Loretta C. Biggs, the presiding judge in the case, was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014 to the District Court Seat in the Middle District of N.C.

Because of the timing of the injunction, the state will have little time to appeal before the mailing date of Dec. 31. But, a release from the N.C. Republican Party called on the Attorney General, who is defending the state in the case, to file an appeal.

“Unfortunately, this preliminary injunction is yet another example of judges legislating from the bench. This action, if it is allowed to stand, will invalidate the votes of millions of North Carolinians who voted overwhelmingly to implement voter ID and strengthen the integrity of N.C. elections,” said N.C. Republican Party Communications Director Jeff Hauser in a statement. “The NCGOP calls on the Attorney General to appeal this decision and defend the voters of North Carolina.”