North Carolina Supreme Court Invalidates Redistricting Map and Voter ID Law Enacted by Legislature

By: Ken Daines, Andrew Pardue, and Andrew D. Watkins

The Federalist Society - State Court Docket

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State courts often play an important role in reviewing and interpreting state laws that govern the manner in which states conduct their elections. In a recent example, on December 16, 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court decided a pair of key election-related cases by identical 4 to 3 margins that concern both the procedure through which elections are conducted in the state and the composition of the state legislature for at least the next decade. In Holmes v. Moore, the North Carolina Supreme Court affirmed the findings of a divided three-judge panel that a statute requiring all North Carolina voters to present photo identification at the polls was enacted with an impermissible racially discriminatory intent and therefore violated the Equal Protection Clause of the North Carolina Constitution.In a separate case, Harper v. Hall II—which stems from the same litigation over North Carolina’s 2021 redistricting plans that gave rise to the pending U.S. Supreme Court case Moore v. Harper—the North Carolina Supreme Court reversed a unanimous three-judge lower court, found that the state legislature’s remedial state senate map was unconstitutional, and remanded the case for the development of yet another remedial map.

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