Federal appeals court denies petition for review of voter ID case

This Tuesday, May 2, 2017 photo shows the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals building, the site of a full 15-member court hearing on President Donald Trump's revised travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RALEIGH — Legislative leaders said Monday that the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition for an en banc review of the decision to overturn the state’s voter ID law. The plaintiffs in the case, led by the state’s NAACP, petitioned for a full 15-member review of the case.

“A bit of good news. By order this morning, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Plaintiffs’ petition for en banc review of the favorable voter ID decision we received last month,” state Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Burke) said. “Unless Plaintiffs now take the extraordinary step of seeking review in the US Supreme Court, this case will head back to the Federal District Court in NC for trial.”

In December 2020, the federal judges wrote in a unanimous opinion that “The district court penalized the General Assembly because of who they were, instead of what they did. When discussing the sequence of events leading to the 2018 voter ID law’s enactment, the district court discounted the normalcy of the legislative process to focus on who drafted and passed the law.”

A state Court of Appeals trial is still expected to be held this year over the law.

A spokesperson from Senate Leader Phil Berger’s office said that the goal to have the requirement in place by the 2022 elections.

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Matt Mercer is the editor in chief of North State Journal and can be reached at [email protected]