Opinion Roundup: Aug. 2, 2016 -- Voter ID, coastal conservation and the political scene

A sampling of opinion from around North Carolina and the nation.

Posted Updated

N.C. voter reforms: racism in disguise (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- North Carolina’s racist voting restrictions have been flushed into the open for all to see. The courts are appalled and must continue to expose this pernicious nonsense for what it is.
Motive is irrelevant when states make it harder for minorities to vote (LA Times) – A federal appeals court decision striking down parts of North Carolina’s election law — including a photo ID requirement — is only one of several recent judicial rulings that have breathed new life into the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution’s protections against abridgment of the right to vote. But the decision is also notable for its recognition of an important truth: that a law that makes it harder for minorities to vote can constitute intentional racial discrimination even if it might be primarily motivated by a desire to achieve partisan advantage.
N.C. appears determined to move backward (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- It wasn’t that long ago that North Carolina was reputed by many as the most inclusive and socially progressive state in the South. It is troubling to see it becoming more like the deep South of the 20th century.
Appeals Court buries state's voter ID law (Fayetteville Observer) -- A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the state's 2013 voting-reform law was really an exercise in racial discrimination. It targeted black voters, the judges' unanimous opinion said, "with almost surgical precision.
Turning the tide on voting rights (New York Times column) -- In the last few weeks, voting rights groups, in some instances working with the{{/a}} Department of Justice, have posted a series of victories that seemed unlikely when their cases against these laws were first brought. The rights of hundreds of thousands of voters are at stake.
Voter iD and the real threat to democracy (Wall Street Journal column) -- The Supreme Court concluded in 2008that voter ID is constitutional and doesn’t impose an unreasonable burden on voters. But the recent decisions of three federal courts throwing out voter-ID laws in North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin as discriminatory have put opponents of common-sense election reforms in raptures. These erroneous rulings twist the Voting Rights Act from a law intended to stop racial discrimination into one that transfers the power to determine routine election procedures—which the Constitution delegates to the states—to the judiciary.
Coastal conservation loses an important advocate (Wilmington Star-News) -- For those who love the North Carolina coast, the departure of Stan Riggs from the science panel that advises the Coastal Resources Commission is disturbing news. Dr. Riggs, a longtime geologist at East Carolina University and a leading authority on coastal issues, has been advising the CRC for two decades.
A week of contrasts (Greensboro News & Record) -- The conventions may be over. The rhetorical fallout clearly isn’t.

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