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Opinion Roundup: The N.C. voting rights fight

Posted May 16

US Supreme Court

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion and commentary on the Supreme Court's North Carolina voter ID decision, the Affordable Care Act's future and more.

Needless voter restrictions sabotaged ID requirement (Wilson Times) -- If North Carolina lawmakers want voter identification requirements, they’ll have to go back to the drawing board. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away the state’s appeal of a Fourth Circuit ruling that struck down parts of the Voter Information Verification Act. By declining to hear the case, the high court allowed the Fourth Circuit ruling to stand, exhausting the General Assembly’s avenues for appeal.


Voting-rights fight not over (Winston-Salem Journal) -- It’s good that the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday effectively let the strike-down of North Carolina’s voter identification law stand. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had rightly struck down the law, ruling that it targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision.”


The last word stands (Greensboro News & Record) -- The last legal word on North Carolina’s voting restrictions stands. It was the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals 2016 ruling that found election changes were enacted with discriminatory intent.


Law’s rejection was never about voter ID (Fayetteville Observer) -- In an ideal world, the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to give North Carolina’s “voter ID” law a hearing would mean the end of efforts to make it harder for traditionally Democratic voters to cast a ballot. But we all know this isn’t an ideal world and it won’t become one anytime soon. We expect the General Assembly’s Republican majority to keep trying. They said as much on Monday.


Hoist a toast to the Supreme Court, but you better drink fast (Charlotte Observer) -- A U.S. Supreme Court action on Monday kills North Carolina’s restrictive voting rights law. But don’t over-celebrate just yet.


WNC’s shameful moment in the Rose Garden (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- What a shameful picture. The two Republicans who represent Western North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives stood gleefully flanking President Trump last week, one on each side, reveling in prominent roles in unraveling the Affordable Care Act. But just what are they celebrating? Why, exactly, would Mark Meadows and Patrick McHenry exult in passage of a measure that would strip their state of $6 billion in Medicaid funding, money that provides medical care for children, the disabled and the elderly?


Sessions revives failed drug policies (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday announced a return to the failed policies of the War on Drugs that resulted in the long-term incarceration of hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders.

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