Commentary

Editorial: State leaders should end appeals, stop trying to suppress the vote

Voting rightsThis morning’s Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com “Get real, drop the appeals. Focus on making it easier to vote” hits the nail on the head with its assessment of the absurd and inflammatory efforts of state leaders to defend their indefensible voter suppression law. Not only are state leaders continuing to sow confusion about voting, but they’re also wrongfully attempting to politicize and undermine the legitimacy of the federal courts. Here’s the excellent conclusion:

“In recent days, federal judges in Texas, Wisconsin and North Dakota have tossed out laws that, like North Carolina’s, targeted minority voters. The likelihood of the current U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of McCrory and the GOP leadership is slim, at best.

McCrory and the GOP leadership have not just created more confusion over voting, their hyper partisan posturing endangers the credibility of our courts. Within hours of the Appeals Court’s ruling, McCrory complained that it was a ‘political opinion’ by ‘three partisan Democrats’ Berger and Moore were more inflammatory. “We can only wonder if the intent is to reopen the door for voter fraud, potentially allowing fellow Democrat politicians like Hillary Clinton and Roy Cooper to steal the election.”

We are in a highly-charged partisan atmosphere at election time, such comments might be dismissed as seasonal rhetoric. But both Moore and Berger are lawyers and officers of the court – Berger’s son, in fact is a candidate for the N.C. Court of Appeals. Rather than exploiting the courts in a misguided and ineffective quest for political attack lines, our legislative leaders and their governor would be better off to save taxpayer dollars and drop the appeal.

Late Thursday, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals rightly denied an effort to delay the enforcement of its ruling. We know that means that in November, North Carolina voters will have greater access to the polls, including Sunday voting, extended days for early voting, same-day registration and early voter registration for young voters ahead of their 18th birthday.

When U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder ruled in favor of the 2013 law, neither McCrory nor the legislative leadership noted that he was a GOP appointee. Nor did they note that it was Cooper’s office that represented the state in that successful legal effort.

It is dangerous and demeaning to our democracy to cry partisan politics, as McCrory, Berger and Moore, have done when the courts don’t do what they want.

They should know better.”

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