A state court judge on Friday threw out two amendments to the North Carolina Constitution that voters approved in November, including a strict photo ID requirement to vote and another capping income taxes in the state.
In the 13-page opinion, Superior Ct Judge G. Bryan Collins, Jr. wrote, “An illegally constituted General Assembly does not represent the people of North Carolina and is therefore not empowered to pass legislation that would amend the state’s constitution.”
The original lawsuit, filed in August 2018 by Forward Justice and Southern Environmental Law Center for plaintiffs the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and Clean Air NC, asserted that the legislature was “unconstitutionally constituted” due to gerrymanders and therefore the two amendments were “void.” Two other amendments approved in November 2018 were not part of the lawsuit, so were not affected by the ruling.
The ruling will likely be appealed.
In response, Democracy North Carolina’s Executive Director Tomas Lopez applauded the ruling, saying it “deserves to stand.”
“Today’s state court ruling, finding a gerrymandered N.C. General Assembly is not empowered to pass legislation that would amend the state’s constitution, is a victory for all who care about voting rights,” said Lopez. “The decision calls out two of the most anti-voter wrongs facing North Carolinians today: the racial gerrymanders that have eroded voters’ political power and the voter suppression tactics that have long targeted the state’s racial and other minorities. This outcome serves our democracy and deserves to stand. “