Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Voter ID Law Pushed by Republicans

By Cash Michaels –

A three-judge Wake County Superior Court panel issued a preliminary injunction this month enjoining the Republican-led NC General Assembly “from implementing or enforcing the voter-ID provisions of Session Law 208-144…” That is the voter ID law Republicans hurriedly passed in the waning lame-duck special session in December 2018.

Monday’s preliminary injunction means there will not be a court proceeding in Holmes vs. Moore, a 2018 lawsuit filed to stop the voter ID law, before the Nov. 3rd, 2020 election. Thus, those casting a ballot in less than 90 days will not be required to present a voter ID in North Carolina.

It was last February when, in a 45-page ruling, a panel of three appellate judges, all Democrats, unanimously ruled that North Carolina’s voter ID law was deliberately discriminatory toward African American voters. That judicial panel of Toby Hampson, John Arrowood, and Allegra Collins issued a preliminary injunction temporarily shelving the law (Senate Bill 824) until trial.

The Appellate Court held that “Plaintiffs have shown a clear likelihood of success on the merits of their discriminatory-intent claim, and absent an injunction, Plaintiffs are likely to suffer irreparable harm.” The panel remanded the case back to Wake Superior Court, “…with instructions to grant Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction.”

The Republican defendants—House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger—filed a motion for a rehearing after the Appellate Court ruling, only to have it denied in March.

Last February, Attorney Irving Joyner, law professor at NC Central University School of Law, applauded the appellate decision in the case.

“The Court of Appeals opinion in Holmes v. Moore is just another recognition by a court of law that the North Carolina General Assembly acted with continuing racial animus when it enacted the latest voter ID requirement,” Joyner said.

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