Another humiliation for my old home state. Until now, North Carolina was one of the few Old Confederacy states that was not covered by the Voting Rights Act, because, unlike the others, the Democrats who ran the state insisted that voting be open to all who were eligible. Now, just 10 months electing the first Republican-controlled government since the 1870s, those days are over. If the Justice Department prevails, NC will be covered by the VRA just like every other state run by neo-Confederates, and will have to submit its plans for changing voter regulations to the courts in advance for approval.
The U.S. Department of Justice will file a lawsuit Monday to stop North Carolina’s new voter ID law, which critics have said is the most sweeping law of its kind, according to a person briefed on the department’s plans.
Attorney General Eric Holder, who has said he will fight state voting laws that he sees as discriminatory, will announce the lawsuit at noon Monday, along with the three U.S. attorneys from the state.
Critics said the law will disenfranchise African-American and elderly voters, while the Republican-led General Assembly in Raleigh said the law will protect the state’s voters from potential fraud.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act, which required a handful of mostly Southern states to get approval from the Justice Department before making changes to their voting laws. The entire state of North Carolina wasn’t covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, though several counties were covered by the landmark law and had been subjected to additional federal scrutiny.