NC Appeals Court moves on voter ID constitutional amendment case

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Donna Stroud

An update to the story published yesterday about lawyers for the state NAACP trying to get the Court of Appeals to move the constitutional amendments case back to Wake County Superior Court.

After lawyers for the NAACP petitioned the state Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus – essentially asking the high court to order the Appeals Court to act – the Appeals Court sent the case back to Superior Court.

The Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, said in August that legislatures with illegally racially gerrymandered districts don’t automatically have the power to ask voters to amend the constitution. The state NAACP is challenging amendments requiring voter photo ID and capping the state income tax.

The high court sent the case back down to the trial court to have more questions answered.

To get back down to the trial court, the Appeals Court had to first sign-off. The case stalled out there.  In a Monday night email to Kym Meyer, a lawyer representing the NAACP, Appeals Court clerk Eugene H. Soar said he did not know about the Appeals Court judges’ plans for the case. In an email Wednesday, he said it had been sent back to Wake County Superior Court.

Where the case ends up exactly is still a question. Lawyers for Republican legislators want it to go to a three-judge panel, rather than to the Superior Court judge who initially ruled against them. Lawyers for the NAACP have objected, saying that a three-judge panel has already said the case is outside its jurisdiction.

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NC Appeals Court moves on voter ID constitutional amendment case