The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by Republican leaders of a federal court ruling that removed ballot restrictions in North Carolina, due to the restrictions being discriminatory along the basis of race, reports Bloomberg News.
Chief Justice John Roberts has stated that the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the appeal does not mean that the court supports the removal of the ballot restrictions. The restrictions kept citizens from being able to vote outside of their precinct or register to vote on the day of the election. It also required citizens to display a photo ID in order to vote.
North Carolina is often a swing state in U.S. presidential elections, and the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the Republicans’ appeal could have an effect on the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
The ballot restrictions were established one month after a Supreme Court ruling in 2013 dismantling key portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a pivotal law that emerged from the civil rights movement.
In federal court, North Carolina’s ballot restrictions were challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights organizations, as well as by President Barack Obama’s administration.
“An ugly chapter in voter suppression is finally closing,” said Dale Ho, leader of the American Civil Liberties Union’s initiative on voting rights.
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