Courts & the Law, Defending Democracy, News

NC NAACP will ask for state Supreme Court review of lawmakers’ appeal after constitutional amendments struck

The Rev. T. Anthony Spearman declared Monday a season of democracy. (Photo by Melissa Boughton)

The North Carolina NAACP is declaring that “we the people” are entering into a season of democracy.

They were delivered a legal victory in February when a Wake County Superior Court judge ruled that an unconstitutionally constituted legislature did not have the authority to alter the state constitution when it proposed the voter ID and tax cap amendments.

Lawmakers are appealing the decision to the state Court of Appeals, but attorneys for the NC NAACP plan to ask the state Supreme Court this week to step in and directly review the case.

“The people of North Carolina hold sacred our democracy and our fundamental right to vote,” said the Rev. T. Anthony Spearman. “We have fought for too long to take any steps backward when it comes to our voting rights.”

Spearman was joined by several attorneys and NAACP members at a press conference yesterday at Main Street Baptist Church in Raleigh. He reminded voters that there would be no voter ID requirement this year for municipal elections and encouraged them to get out the vote and to help get out their neighbors’ votes.

Kym Hunter with the Southern Environmental Law Center speaks to media Monday about a constitutional amendment challenge. (Photo by Melissa Boughton)

“Get out and let your voices be heard,” he said. “We are ready for a season of democracy — the much needed spring that follows the long season of voter suppression that was brought on our state by extremists who cheated their way to power.”

Kym Hunter, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center who represents the NAACP, said she hopes the state Supreme Court upholds the superior court’s “very clear, very well thought out legal ruling that makes just common sense.”

“We think in this case, there’s rarely been a more important case before our courts,” she said. “This case speaks to our democracy, it speaks to the legitimacy of our constitution, of the very foundational document that makes up our state law.”

She added later, “of course a legislature that does not represent the people cannot change our constitution.”

Once they file the request for review, Hunter said she hopes the case will move onward swiftly. Check back with NC Policy Watch and follow @mel_bough on Twitter for updates as the case progresses.

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