Skip to main content
Tags: north carolina | voting | black | felons | law

Judge Strikes Down 'Discriminatory' N.C. Voting Law

By    |   Tuesday, 23 April 2024 08:04 PM EDT

A federal judge struck down what she called a "discriminatory" North Carolina law that criminalized casting a ballot for people convicted of felonies.

According to The Hill, the statute, which goes back to 1877, made it a Class I felony for people to vote in the Tar Heel State before their rights have been restored "in the manner prescribed by law."

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs ruled that the law "was enacted with discriminatory intent, has not been cleansed of its discriminatory taint, and continues to disproportionately impact Black voters."

According to a 2017 report, one-third of Black men in America have at least one felony conviction, despite only making up approximately 13% of the population.

The racial justice organization NC CRED found that Black North Carolinians make up 21.5% of the state's overall adult population, but account for nearly 53% of its prison population.

The North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute Inc. and Action NC mounted a challenge to the law in 2020, arguing in their complaint that the law ran afoul of the Constitution's equal protection clause by targeting Black voters.

Melvin Montford, executive director of the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute Inc., lauded the decision on Tuesday, in a statement obtained by the Washington Examiner.

"A racially discriminatory law is now a relic of the past," Montford said. "It's sad that in today's society we still have laws on the books that specifically discriminate against Black voters, even if some people may choose to ignore this reality."

"The state of North Carolina can no longer enforce this discriminatory law and it's no longer a tool for district attorneys and the State Board of Election to arbitrarily use," he added.

In her decision on Monday, the judge pointed to the law's potential for arbitrary enforcement due to its vagueness.

"Record evidence demonstrating this inconsistency in District Attorneys' interpretation and enforcement of the Challenged Statute — that some believed that the Challenged Statute included a requirement of intent while others did not — compels the conclusion that the Challenged Statute permits a 'standardless sweep' that allows prosecutors to 'pursue their personal predilections' under the Challenged Statute," Biggs wrote.

Under North Carolina law, a convicted felon cannot vote again until all their punishments are completed, including incarceration, probation, and other closely-monitored supervision. Their rights are automatically restored at that point, but they must then re-register to vote.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
A federal judge struck down what she called a "discriminatory" North Carolina law that criminalized casting a ballot for people convicted of felonies.
north carolina, voting, black, felons, law
401
2024-04-23
Tuesday, 23 April 2024 08:04 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved