The emergency appeal by North Carolina’s governor to the US Supreme Court to reinstate the restrictive voting rights ID law that was overturned by the Appeals Court of the Fourth Circuit was rebuffed today when the court voted 4-4 against doing so.
The decision — a victory for voting rights groups and President Barack Obama’s Justice Department — means voters won’t have to show one of several qualifying photo IDs when casting ballots in the presidential battleground state. Early voting also reverts to 17 days, to begin Oct. 20.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down several parts of the law last month, saying they were approved by Republican legislators with intentional bias against black voters in mind.
Once again, the death of justice Scalia and the resulting vacancy illustrates how important Appeals Court decisions are because in the event of a tie vote in the Supreme Court, the lower court verdict stands.