Supreme Court to consider if NC pols can defend voter ID law

The Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it will take up a case brought by two prominent North Carolina Republicans who wish to join the legal defense of the state’s strict voter ID law.

North Carolina GOP House Speaker Tim Moore and Republican Senate leader Phil Berger want to formally step into a pending federal case challenging the law, arguing that Democratic state attorney general Josh Stein would not mount a proper defense.

The law requiring Tar Heel State voters to present a photo ID upon arrival at a polling place to cast a ballot was approved by referendum as a constitutional amendment in November 2018.

The measure was formally enacted by lawmakers the following month, overriding Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto in the process.

In September, a three-judge panel of North Carolina’s Superior Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional by intentionally discriminating against black voters.

The Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case will not affect the state court ruling on the law’s constitutionality, but will only determine if the lawmakers can take part in the case.

Wednesday’s order came after the state legislature submitted a request to review a ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that Moore and Berger could not intervene to defend the law.

Stein had asked the Supreme Court not to take up the case as North Carolina is “already actively defending the challenged law.”

The North Carolina Supreme Court is hearing a third case challenging how legislators put the constitutional amendment on the ballot.

The case is Berger v. North Carolina Conference of the NAACP. Arguments will likely take place sometime early next year and a ruling could be handed down before summer.

With Post wires