The Supreme Court Must Preserve Voter ID

The public is now more unified than ever on electoral reform.

We all want an electoral system that is easy to use, hard to cheat, and produces reliable results. This is possible when adequate precautions exist, such as picture voter ID. 

The Statistics

Voting with a photo ID is a reasonable safety measure that is widely supported. According to polls, 80% of voters support picture ID requirements.

Most of our society requires photo IDs to do things like getting on a plane or buying some over-the-counter drugs. More than half of all countries require some ID to vote.

The idea that a photo ID demand exists solely to depress, deter, or prohibit eligible people from voting is a standard narrative among many on the left.

That’s not true. In reality, states like Georgia that require voters to show a photo ID had record turnout in the 2020 national election, particularly among minorities.

Besides, an overwhelming majority of witnesses could not name a single person who could not vote due to a lack of photo identification at the year’s proceedings. 

According to the NAACP, the statute disempowers and discriminates against blacks and Latinos. In North Carolina, as in other states, the attorney general represents the state and defends its laws in court.

The distinction is the attorney general chose not to defend the legality of North Carolina’s law vigorously.

It is highly problematic that the state’s top lawyer would ignore the legislature’s judgment and refuse to defend a state statute.

However, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state legislature’s request to assist in the case to defend the law’s legality. 

The Legality of It All

Federal judges should not tell a state which agent to use.

A state should be allowed to intervene to defend the validity of its laws, especially when a court takes down legislation and the attorney general declines to appeal.

When a rogue state attorney fails to defend or appeal a piece of legislation, the state legislature intervenes. 

The Lawyers’ Democracy Fund has filed an amicus curiae brief in Berger v. North Carolina State Conference of NAACP to defend the North Carolina legislature’s legitimate intervention to protect its state picture ID statute.

The U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures primary responsibility for election legislation. An attorney general’s party affiliation should never affect or dictate a defense case in defending a state statute. 

This is significant because numerous attorney generals have used collusive agreements with outside entities to amend state laws without the legislature’s consent.

So it was with North Carolina’s picture voter ID bill. Withholding full representation from North Carolina undermines the will of those who voted to change their state constitution to require voter identification. 

The North Carolina Senate has the sovereign right to cease these partisan antics and protect the validity of the state’s voter ID laws.